Barnsley council is to set up a joint venture company with European IT firm Bull Information Systems to manage the authority’s IT infrastructure and operations and bid for external contracts.
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The two partners will jointly own the new company, Tuscan Connects, which will run the South Yorkshire council’s IT services under a 10-year contract worth £76m.
The move will see IT strategy set by the council, while the company will be managed by Bull. Just over 100 existing council IT staff will transfer to the new company on their current terms and conditions.
The deal is aimed at improving the authority’s IT services, with a focus on helpdesk services, datacentre management and systems to support flexible working. The council is also aiming to make service continuity more robust by mirroring its servers at a back-up disaster recovery centre.
Bull has begun to move some of its hosting contracts into the Barnsley operations centre and Tuscan Connects is expected to bid for new contracts elsewhere.
Council chief executive Phil Coppard said, “In-sourcing our IT services in this way not only guarantees the jobs of the existing team, it creates a new high-tech company in Barnsley that we believe is ideally poised to win new business and create more jobs in the local area.”