Finding a home for IT

Council leader David Parker and CGI's UK president Tim Gregory secure the deal.
Council leader David Parker and CGI's UK president Tim Gregory secure the deal.

Plans to upgrade office space in Galashiels and temporarily accommodate a new CGI ICT service centre are to be discussed by councillors.

The upper floors of Scottish Borders Council’s Paton Street building will be modernised, if elected members agree a report at a full meeting of the council next Thursday, September 29.

A 13-year digital services contract worth £92million was awarded by SBC to CGI, a global IT and business process services provider, in March.

The contract will provide the council with state-of-the-art technology to deliver excellent customer services and streamlined systems.

As part of the deal, CGI is establishing a Scottish ICT Delivery Centre of Excellence in the Scottish Borders with up to 200 jobs to support its growing client base.

While CGI is confirming plans for a permanent base, it needs a temporary location to host its services in the Borders.

Councillor Michael Cook, SBC’s executive member for HR and corporate improvement, said: “The CGI deal brought with it probably the most significant inward investment proposal ever for the Borders with the potential to inject over £100m into our economy.

“It is important that the council does all it can to assist CGI in the relatively early days of this agreement, and to do so we’ll be providing temporary office accommodation in Galashiels.

“While CGI will occupy these premises initially, the council will retain ownership of them and receive longer-term benefit as the quality of its offices in the centre of Galashiels will be greatly improved.”

Maggie Morrison, vice-president, CGI Scotland, added: “We are very grateful to Scottish Borders Council for being so accommodating while we finalise our long-term property strategy in Borders. We see this temporary use of council offices as a win, win solution for both CGI and the council.”