New agreement coincides with announcement of Scottish Government investment in city’s broadband infrastructure
Aberdeen City Council has signed up local company Incremental Group and international consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as partners in its digital transformation programme.
It has revealed the agreement as the Scottish Government announced the provision of £2 million to increase broadband speeds for key public buildings – including schools, health and community centres – around the city.
The council said it has allocated £4.5 million to support the new partnership, with the spend to be managed through its Strategic Transformation Committee, which will consider business cases for individual projects before granting approval for any investments.
The partners will focus on supporting the internal digital changes, getting more services online, and improving interactions with the public, as well as pushing the council’s smart city agenda.
Council chief executive Angela Scott said: “Alongside our community planning partners, the council has an agreed set of priorities for what we need to achieve on behalf of the people of Aberdeen.
“Ensuring continued investment in Aberdeen and its workforce to encourage a diversified economy, investing in our children so they have the opportunity to reach their full potential and supporting our customers and communities so that they are resilient and empowered.
“Underpinning all of this work is having strong financial management so that we can meet our priorities and get the best value for the public pound.
“This partnership is key to us realising these ambitions as we move forward and thus our work will be important to everyone in Aberdeen as we look to build a sustainable future.”
The Scottish Government support is aimed at providing speeds up to 1Gbps to improve services and lay the ground for private sector investment in the city.
The money is being made available through the £254 million investment package for the region, which comes on top of the £125 million Aberdeen City Region Deal.
Council lead Jim Gifford, said the investment is designed to be a catalyst, firstly improving public buildings but also providing an infrastructure for future investment.
Scottish Government Connectivity Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “By providing fast and reliable broadband, capable of Gigabit speeds, we are transforming Aberdeen into one of the UK’s best connected cities, unlocking greater commercial investment in the future.”
Aberdeen has tied the development of its digital capability closely to that of the surrounding region and the prospects for the private sector. Earlier this year its head of IT and transformation, Simon Haston, told UKAuthority it wants to create a digital infrastructure for its local communities and prepare for an economic future less dependent on the oil industry.
Image by Bob Embleton, CC BY-SA 2.0