NELSON communications firm Daisy has secured an £81million 10-year contract from Essex County Council.

Daisy Updata Communications (DUCL) — the company's joint venture with Updata Infrastructure (UK) — will manage and develop the council’s IT network and associated telephony services.

The contracted services will form part of the council’s next generation network which will initially connect schools and corporate sites, but has the capacity encompass other public sector stakeholders.

Matthew Riley, chief executive officer at Daisy Group plc, said: “This contract win is an illustration of the success we can achieve in the public sector.

“Essex County Council’s choice of Daisy Group and Updata Infrastructure is testament to the high level of service and cost savings we can provide to our customers via a truly unified communications offering.

“This is the blueprint for success for other local authorities and we look forward to being able to provide our services through the framework to reduce costs and transform access for public services to ICT.”

The network will provide connectivity and associated services to more than 200 Essex County Council corporate sites, including council offices and libraries, and 550 primary, secondary and academy schools.

David Wilde, chief information officer at Essex County Council, said: “For Essex and the users of this network, it is about getting more for less; providing a better service at a significantly reduced cost.

“DUCL have developed a model that will deliver our strategic objectives and support the transformation of the council’s services delivered to our citizens.”