AN IT services sharing deal between Wigan and Bolton councils will save taxpayers millions.

The two authorities, together with Wigan and Leigh Housing and Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, agreed to join forces in their search for a new IT provider – meaning costs could be shared.

The four organisations have now signed a contract with technology specialists Agilisys.

It came into effect last Friday and will save Wigan Council nearly £1 million a year.

Clr Ged Bretherton, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for efficiency, praised the new partnership.

He said: “Increasingly as councils we have got to think imaginatively to find new ways of saving money.

“Creating partnerships like this with neighbouring councils is a proven and effective way of driving down costs. This deal will save Wigan Council £6.65 million over the seven years of the contract.”

Clr Cliff Morris, leader of Bolton Council, said: “We were looking for a supplier who would be able to transform services through new technologies and respond quickly to changes in customer requirements. Agilisys were best placed to do this and provide value for money services for the residents.”

Steven Beard, chief executive officer of Agilisys, said: “We are proud to have been awarded the contract and we look forward to working closely with all partners to deliver lasting IT-enabled improvements and benefits.”