Hartlepool Council has signed another IT outsourcing contract with Northgate, with the council saying the deal will save it £1 million a year, although the value of the deal to Northgate has so far not been revealed.
The council reckons the new contract will "secure 235 jobs for the town". Northgate will be one of the town’s biggest employers and has the capacity to increase its workforce to 300.
Hartlepool has used Northgate as an IT outsourcer since 2001. In 2009, it extended its relationship with the supplier until 2012. In September 2012, the council said it was looking for a supplier to provide the types of services - including desktop provision, mobile support, network management and security - that Northgate was already providing.
The value put on that new provision at the time was between £35 million and £40 million, although it's not clear what Northgate is being paid now. An event to mark the deal is taking place in the town later this week, when more financial details may surface.
A key part of the seven-year agreement, which has a three-year extension option, involves Northgate establishing its new Regional Business Centre in the town which will be known as Northgate House.
A further spin-off as part of the deal has seen the setting up of the new Northgate Academy, in conjunction with Hartlepool College of Further Education. Through the Academy, Northgate has guaranteed 35 modern apprenticeships over the term of its contact, for those wanting to work in the information technology sector.
Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, leader of Hartlepool Council, said: “The agreement with Northgate Public Services represents fantastic value for the people of Hartlepool.
“Not only does it secure hundreds of jobs for Hartlepool and the scope to create many more, but it also delivers significant savings for the council."
Northgate says it will be is investing £2 million to "modernise" Hartlepool's ICT, including a new desktop and server infrastructure.