Jobs deal boost to save cash

FANTASTIC VALUE: Stephen  Akers-Belcher
FANTASTIC VALUE: Stephen Akers-Belcher

JOBS are on the way through a deal that will save Hartlepool Borough Council £1m a year and see the opening of a new customer services facility.

Northgate Public Services is marking its move into the town by officially celebrating the opening this week of its new prestigious offices at Northgate House, after teaming up with the council to secure 235 jobs and save the local authority £1m a year.

Northgate House, the company’s new Regional Business Centre, is a key part of the seven-year agreement with the council, with an option to extend for a further three years. Many staff members have already moved into the new building in Lynn Street, Hartlepool and the company is currently recruiting for a further 46 staff at this time, including roles ranging from service desk analysts to housing benefit and council tax assessors.

Northgate has indicated its intention to continue recruitment in the coming months.

As part of its commitment to the economic development of the town, Northgate has set up a new Northgate Academy, in conjunction with Hartlepool College of Further Education.

Through the Academy, Northgate has guaranteed 35 modern apprenticeships over the term of the contract for those wanting to work in the information technology sector. So far, 15 modern apprentices have recently been taken on in a variety of roles including business administration and IT and more are in the pipeline.

The firm is now one of the town’s biggest employers and has the capacity to increase its workforce to 300.

Northgate’s chief executive, Dave Meaden said: “Our new Regional Business Centre will be a flagship employer in the town and we are delighted to be teaming up with Hartlepool council to help them to achieve their bold Vision for the town.
“I am also pleased to see that we have more jobs planned for the future for Hartlepool - a real boost for business, for the citizens and for the local economy.”

Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher, Hartlepool’s ceremonial mayor who will jointly cut a cake with Mr Meaden to officially declare Northgate House open, said: “The agreement between Northgate Public Services and Hartlepool council represents fantastic value for the town as it will result in a significant number of jobs and apprenticeships and deliver significant savings for the council.

“Northgate is right at the heart of the skills quarter which we have identified as one of the eight key areas in the Hartlepool Vision to regenerate our town and create prosperity for the future.

“It’s very encouraging to see Northgate creating new, much-needed job opportunities for local people and I am sure that the company will go from strength to strength in the town.”

As part of the partnership between the council and Northgate a new initiative, the Northgate Community Fund, has recently been launched, for voluntary and community organisations in Hartlepool to apply for grants to help improve people’s information technology and computer skills.

This Community Fund will operate for the next seven years to enhance IT skills within the local community.