An innovative partnership between Stockton-on-Tees and Darlington Borough Councils has been extended to provide services to Northumberland County Council.
Xentrall Shared Services was established in May 2008 to jointly deliver back office services to both Stockton-on-Tees and Darlington Borough councils.
The service has now been extended to also provide Northumberland County Council with a back-end ICT hosting service. The plans mean that Northumberland County Council will relocate its servers to existing data centres in Darlington and Stockton which have power provision and air cooling facilities.
The plans were approved by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet in March and works to transfer the servers will begin this month. It is expected the service will generate around £70,000 in the first year.
Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said: “Xentrall is an excellent example of how partnership work with our neighbouring local authorities helps to provide services that benefit all our customers.
“The extension of the service to Northumberland County Council is a welcome move which further strengthens our collaborative approach to improve provisions and deliver savings in a challenging financial environment.”
Councillor Bill Dixon, Leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “It’s great that Northumberland are coming on board with Xentrall shared services. This will mean that all three councils will make bigger savings. This will give a much needed boost to Darlington in light of the cuts to the government grant that we’re currently facing.”
Councillor Dave Ledger, Deputy Leader of Northumberland County Council, added: "We are committed to working in partnership with our colleagues across the north east, especially where sharing services can produce real savings.
"These savings will ultimately benefit the people of Northumberland."
In 2012 the ground-breaking partnership between Stockton-on-Tees and Darlington Borough councils won national recognition after it was commended in the annual MJ Local Government Achievement Awards within the 'Transformation Through IT' category.
The partnership between the three councils will run on a continually rolling basis.