TOWN leaders have described a new partnership between Hartlepool Council and an IT provider - which will see 235 jobs relocate - as “huge.”
The seven-year contract between the council and Northgate Public Services will save the authority £1m a year and Northgate could increase its workforce, which is relocating from Wynyard Business Centre, to 300 over the next few years to further boost the local economy.
A key part of the agreement, which has the option for a three-year extension, involves Northgate establishing its new Regional Business Centre in the town at Northgate House, off Lynn Street.
Speaking at the official launch, council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher said: “This is a significant time for Hartlepool Borough Council and what we have achieved is huge for the town.”
Coun Akers-Belcher said the partnership would deliver “phenomenal savings” adding: “That is testament to the team at the council and Northgate and I would like to thank everybody who has participated.”
The town’s ceremonial mayor, Coun Stephen Akers-Belcher added: “It has been a pleasure to see first hand how much enthusiasm there is for this project.”
Joe Bradley, executive director of Northgate Public Services, said: “This has been a long journey but we got there and we are pleased to be helping support the town’s vision.”
A further spin-off has seen the setting up of the new Northgate Academy, in conjunction with Hartlepool College of Further Education, which has guaranteed 35 modern apprenticeships over the term of the contact for those wanting to work in the IT sector.
College student Chloe McDonnell, from Blackhall, is doing a business administration apprenticeship and the 16-year-old said: “I am really enjoying working here, it is a great team and it is going well.”
Matthew Tyers, 20, from Hartlepool, is on a one-year business administration apprenticeship. He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity and it is going really well.”
Meanwhile, Liam Millward, 19, from Eaglescliffe, is on an 18-month business administration and ICT apprenticeship and he encouraged more youngsters to consider going down a similar path.
Over the agreement it’s estimated Northgate’s presence will result in £2.9m being ploughed into the economy.