IT giant marks office opening by lending its support to Northern Powerhouse

From left: Jim Taylor (Salford Council CEO), Mark Aston (Snr VP CGI), Paul Dennett and Tara McGeehan

CGI, one of the largest independent IT and business consulting services firms in the world, has joined the Government-backed Northern Powerhouse Partners Programme.

It said the move is to strengthen its links in the North of England.

Joining the ever-growing network of almost 200 Northern Powerhouse businesses in the region will lead to working collaboratively with local leaders and central government to promote business, technology and community growth in the North.

The Northern Powerhouse strategy is about boosting the local economy by investing in skills, innovation, transport and culture, as well as devolving significant powers and budgets to directly-elected mayors to ensure decisions in the North are made by the North.

“The North of England is host to a vibrant digital sector,” said Tara McGeehan, President, CGI UK.

“As an organisation, CGI is proud of the work we have already delivered in collaboration with our clients and partners in the North.

“Becoming a Northern Powerhouse partner forms part of our larger strategy of continued meaningful investment in the region.”

She added: “This region is home to a wealth of talent, and we look forward to the drive for greater employment opportunities and economic success in this part of the UK.”

Last week the partnership was strengthened by the opening of CGI’s new Northern office in The Soapworks, Salford, Manchester, at an official opening ceremony attended by The Mayor of Salford, Paul Dennett.

The new office is now home to around 200 CGI professionals and will provide an innovation hub in the North to help CGI clients drive growth through advanced digital technologies.

CGI said it is also committed to supporting local initiatives for young people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and to building a diverse workforce.

As part of this, CGI will be providing the local social inclusion organisation, Salford Foundation, with volunteers for its Business Education Programme which provides a wide range of career support and will also work with the organisation to deliver a series of one-day STEM events.

City Mayor of Salford, Paul Dennett, said: “In addition to our incredible culture, the city region possesses an abundance of strong tech talent and welcomes companies moving and expanding here to drive business growth and economic success in the North West of England.”

One of CGI’s key clients in the North is telecoms provider TalkTalk and Gary Steen, its managing director technology, change and security, said: “TalkTalk is pleased to be part of CGI’s growth story and investment in the North of England.

“We are very proud of our Northern roots and CGI’s partnership with the Northern Powerhouse initiative demonstrates its commitment to the larger economic success of the region and our valued communities.

“With TalkTalk also moving its HQ from London to Salford over the next year, we look forward for opportunities to work closely with CGI at their new office, which is in close proximity to our own, to tap into local talent and prompt more businesses to invest in this dynamic region.”

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, Jake Berry, said: “I am delighted to welcome CGI into our network of Northern Powerhouse partners.

“Their technical know-how and experience is essential in realising our ambition to invest in local talent and boost jobs and local socio-economic growth across the region.

“With the opening of their new offices in the thriving commercial and technical hub of Soapworks, Salford, Manchester, CGI is ideally located to continue its great contribution to the local economy and help the region realise its full potential.”