£7 million council partnership hits employment landmark early

18 January 2016

Northgate Public Services’ innovative partnership with Hartlepool Council, which is on track to save £7.6 million over its seven year contract, has exceeded its job creation target a year ahead of schedule.

As part of a seven-year partnership with Hartlepool Council to provide the authority’s IT services, leading information technology provider Northgate Public Services (NPS) gave a commitment in February 2014 that it would create 235 jobs in the town within three years.

The agreement involved NPS establishing its new Regional Business Centre within the Church Street Innovation & Skills Quarter in Hartlepool – one of the eight areas identified in the Hartlepool Vision to spark regeneration and create jobs.

Latest job figures produced by NPS show that the company already employs 241 staff through its Northgate House base in Hartlepool – surpassing the 235 target well ahead of schedule.

Among other services it provides, the business hub now delivers services to a number of UK local authorities, provides a national 24 hour IT call centre and works on national schemes for the Department for Transport.

Anthony Singleton, Executive Director for Services at NPS, said:

“We've been consistently impressed with the skills and commitment of our Hartlepool employees, and their hard work reconfirms our decision to locate one of our key business hubs here. Thanks to them, we’re now providing services to every level of government and throughout the UK, and we’ve hit our initial employment targets a full year ahead of the plan.

“The other reason we opened the office here was our faith in the relationship with Hartlepool Council. That relationship has only deepened and strengthened. It is because of that initial relationship with the Council that we’re now able to give employment options to so many locals, and provide a great career path.”

Part of the agreement with the Council resulted in the setting up of the Northgate Academy, in conjunction with Hartlepool College of Further Education to create apprenticeship opportunities for young people.

A target was set to create 35 apprenticeships over the seven-year partnership. Just two years into NPS’s contract with the Council,

29 young people from Hartlepool are either currently serving as modern apprentices, or they have completed their apprenticeship and become permanent NPS employees.

Another benefit of NPS’s partnership with the Council resulted in the creation of the NPS Community Fund which sees £30,000 of grant funding being made available every year to local organisations to help them enhance people’s IT and computer skills.

A further £10,000 is also set aside to support the Gus Robinson Foundation – a local fund set up to support high performing students and young entrepreneurs.

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the Leader of Hartlepool Council, commented:

“We said at the outset that the agreement with NPS represented fantastic value for the people of Hartlepool and this has proved to be the case.

“It’s very encouraging to see NPS surpassing their employment and apprenticeship targets and the spin-off for the local economy is significant.

“The Council is very clear about the ambition it has for the town and we will continue to work tirelessly to secure further investment to help improve the town as a place to live, work and visit.”

“It is fantastic that NPS service a range of contracts from their Hartlepool Regional Business Centre including London authorities, the Department of Transport and the Welsh Government.”