Sandwell Council has launched a new corporate partnership that has secured £45 million investment to improve council services, as well as create hundreds of new jobs in West Bromwich over the next few years.

Service providers, BT and Liberata will become the authority's private sector strategic partners, delivering a range of corporate and support services including ICT, HR, customer services, procurement and finance.

The partners have agreed to invest £45 million to upgrade the council's IT infrastructure and computer systems, boosting people's access to services and improving service delivery in return for a contract valued at almost £300 million over 15 years. It is estimated that the partnership will also achieve an additional £57m of efficiency savings over that period through improved procurement and other business process streamlining.

Around 500 council employees will transfer to the partnership, on the same pay and conditions of service, eventually moving to a new regional business centre in West Bromwich which will also generate other non-council contracts and create around 450 extra jobs

Deputy council leader, Cllr Steve Eling said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for the council to improve the quality of its backroom business services, which will have a knock-on effect in boosting services on the frontline. It will secure a level of investment in our business and computer systems and specialist experience in boosting efficiency that would simply not have been possible for us to achieve on our own.”