The Department of Trade and Industry has awarded a contract worth up to £125m to Serco to provide web-based information services for small businesses.
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The contract will run for five years with up to four additional one-year renewals, and could be worth more than £125m for the whole period.
Serco will maintain the government’s www.businesslink.gov.uk website, which offers advice and guidance to SMEs. The website forms part of the business.gov programme which aims to stimulate the growth of UK businesses and ensure that the requirements of SMEs are fed in to government.
The deal marks an upturn in Serco’s fortunes after it failed to retain a £50m revenue and benefits outsourcing contract with Hounslow Council, west London earlier this month, losing out to rival Liberata.
John O’Brien of analyst firm Ovum, said the deal was also significant because it was “the biggest software and IT services contract awarded to Serco Solutions since acquiring ITNet” in February. ITNet had a troubled relationship with central government and last year saw its single largest contract – for £83m with the Cabinet Office – terminated a year into its five-year duration.