UPDATED: SkyBet contributes £143m to Yorkshire economy in one year

Digital company SkyBet pumped £143m into Yorkshire's economy last year, paying some £19 million in salaries along the way.

Thursday, 28th July 2016, 11:55 am
Updated Thursday, 28th July 2016, 6:04 pm
Date: 20th May 2015. Picture James Hardisty, (JH1008/67g) Richard Flint, Chief Executive of Leeds Based Sky Bet & Gaming.

An economic impact report by Oxford Economics released yesterday revealed SkyBet’s workforce to be twice as productive as the area’s telecommunications industry, four times as productive as computer manufacturing and five times as productive as the total workforce employed across Yorkshire.

In total Sky Betting and Gaming supported a £63.5 million tax contribution to government funding in 2014/15, equal to £12 per resident in Yorkshire, a figure large enough to be able to fund for the total cost of fire fighting and rescue operations of the West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue.

At its principal base in Leeds it pumped £126m into the city’s economy last year, responsible for nearly one fifth of the gross value added contributions to the city’s finances.

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Millennium Square and Leeds Civic Hall, Leeds City Centre.

The report showed that the company supported a £126m gross value added contribution to the city’s GDP, equivalent to nearly one fifth (18 per cent) of the total digital GVA in the city.

Richard Flint, Sky Betting & Gaming’s chief executive, said: “Yorkshire is a fantastic place to grow a technology business like ours and this report shows the wider benefits we bring to the region. If the Government maintains its commitment to the Northern Powerhouse and keeps the gambling tax regime competitive we will continue to be at the forefront of Yorkshire and the Humber’s growing digital economy.”

The study showed the company also pays two percent of all wages in Leeds, with average salary rates 33 per cent above last year’s city average.

A spokesperson said: “If Sky Betting and Gaming was a Northern Powerhouse cluster in its own right, last year it would have been 50 per cent the size of Liverpool’s digital economy by GVA and 70 per cent the size of Hull’s digital economy by the same measure. The company has achieved this with a headcount of just over 600 versus Hull’s 6,070 and Liverpool’s 19,535 tech jobs, showing high rates of productivity.”

Millennium Square and Leeds Civic Hall, Leeds City Centre.

The employer paid £10 million in salaries in Leeds for the year 2014/15 and directly provides one in every 100 digital jobs, supporting one in every 700 jobs in the city.

The report also revealed that the average salary SkyBet paid in Yorkshire was £36,400 significantly ahead of the regional average.

Earlier this month The Yorkshire Post revealed that the digital industries of Yorkshire and the north of England had been earmarked for rapid expansion by a leading investment bank which has identified two of the country’s fastest growing tech businesses as being in Yorkshire.

GP Bullhound, a technology investment bank, published data showing two firms in the region – SkyBet and Pace – are currently classed as “unicorns” or companies which are said to have a worth in excess of $1bn.