Reading borough council has signed a £4.5m two-year extension to its strategic partnership contract with Northgate Information Solutions.

The extended contract, which will take Reading’s desktop services agreement with Northgate to 2011, includes a renewed focus on cost-savings.

It will cover implementation of a four-year technical roadmap to support key projects and use of Northgate’s ITIL-based “Model Office” methodology for service management.

The new two-year deal follows a contract extension agreed in June to support service transformation and ensure a knowledge and skills transfer to the council through the establishment of an in-house “iTeam”.

Jo Lovelock, Reading’s lead councillor for corporate resources, said: “We are pleased to be extending our agreement with Northgate to enable us to deliver on our Transforming Services and New Civil Centre programmes and focus on continuous improvement to realise our vision of effective and efficient services.”