It has been confirmed this morning that the BT group will close their office in Enniskillen later this year.

Over 300 people are employed by the group by EE, formerly BT.

Staff members were told of the decision this morning (Tuesday), a short time ago of a proposed closure date of October 31.

It is also understood that a senior member of the BT Group visited the Enniskillen site today. 

The news will be met with disappointment for the staff, many of whom have given decades of service to the BT group, some serving over 30 years.

Staff were offered a voluntary paid leavers scheme which closed last month.

The scheme offered workers a “leaver payment” to officially leave EE [formerly BT] on December 31. It is understood that around 70 per cent - more than 200 workers - signed up for it.

However, one worker said that the majority of workers didn’t want to sign up for the scheme, but felt that they had no choice due to a lack of information from the company.

Outside of the iconic BT building on Broadmeadow Place, Enniskillen, the news will be met with great sadness from town centre traders.

In February, those traders told this newspaper that the potential closure of BT would be a "major loss" to the town. 

It is estimated that the staff contribute approximately £6-9 million annually to the local economy. This includes salaries, local purchasing, and use of local services.

In April, a leaked email circulated to local BT staff showed the company was unwilling to commit to operating a "smaller site" in Enniskillen. 

From the outset of the news of the potential closure breaking in February 2024, there has been a major pushback from workers as well as the Communications Workers Union (CWU) who organised a number of meetings for union members, a public meeting and a mass rally held in Enniskillen town centre.

In addition, Politicians have been calling for solutions from the Northern Ireland Executive. Just last week, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council heard pleas for a bespoke package for BT/ EE workers in Fermanagh. 

A previous meeting heard how BT workers have had "the carpet pulled out from underneath them during the cost-of-living crisis". 

In Stormont, former Economy Minister Conor Murphy was urged to do "everything possible" to save the jobs in Enniskillen. 

A timeline of some of the events can be viewed here.

A BT Group spokesperson said: “Earlier this year, we announced a review of our contact centre in Enniskillen as part of our ambitious workplace transformation programme modernising and consolidating the number of offices we have.

“We recently closed our voluntary paid leavers offer for colleagues and over 80% of colleagues have taken the opportunity to take this up.

“We have now made the difficult decision to propose closing the site to the small number of remaining desk-based colleagues on 31st October and have entered into consultation with colleagues and trade union partners.

“We will continue to support all impacted colleagues throughout this process. These proposals will have no impact for customers. BT Group continues to make significant investments in the rollout of full fibre broadband and 5G mobile connectivity across Northern Ireland.”