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Cheshire West and Chester Council to launch new joint venture with Cofely

27 January 2015

Cofely, a GDF SUEZ company has been selected to form a new joint venture company (JV) with Cheshire West and Chester Council (CW&C) to deliver customer and integrated workplace management services

Over 300 Council employees will transfer to the new company. The initial responsibilities of the JV will include customer services and business operations as well as cleaning, building maintenance and energy compliance services across the Council’s estate. 

The Council and Cofely have agreed ambitious growth plans for the JV, with the potential to migrate further Council services into the company as well as plans to trade with other public and private sector bodies.  The total turnover of the joint venture is expected to be in excess of £200 million over 10 years.

As part of the JV, Cofely has committed to investing £3m in the Council’s IT infrastructure. This investment will help to extend and improve online access to Council services. It will also involve the deployment of software tools to help develop greater insight into resident needs.  In addition, the new JV will support wider social commitments by establishing a Community Interest Company (CIC) that will reinvest a percentage of profits into the local community. There will also be an investment in learning and development through at least 65 apprenticeships, 20 graduate placements and 1,000 hours of work experience opportunities for local young people.

Councillor Lynn Riley, member for localities, commented: “This joint venture company will develop and grow in a phased way, based on track record and improved performance. As such, it will play a key role in meeting our priorities to modernise, improve and save as efficiently as possible.”

Wilfrid Petrie, Cofely CEO said: “We are delighted to have been selected as Cheshire West and Chester Council’s joint venture partner. By working in partnership, we will create a high-performing and successful JV that will enhance customer services for local residents, whilst delivering substantial cost savings and realising growth opportunities. This builds on our existing partnerships with local authorities, including London Borough of Lambeth, North Tyneside and North East Lincolnshire councils. This new company will integrate our customer services and facilities management capabilities for the first time within a JV environment.”

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