Glasgow’s cutting edge

10 February 2022

How Scotland’s most populous city became one of the world’s smartest

Before its digital upgrade Glasgow City Council already had existing contracts in place providing CCTV traffic management camera network services across the city. Both were due to expire and needed to be replaced to ensure these critical services continued to operate efficiently.

A strategic decision was made that both components should be brought together and delivered through a single supplier.

In addition to the basic needs of CCTV and traffic management, the new replacement network needed to support:

  • future requirements for the implementation of 5G over the next decade
  • improving the ability to deploy (Internet of Things) IoT technology
  • economic regeneration and growth by breaking down digital barriers
  • the council’s future cities ambitions.
  • The council also needed to deliver social value through the contract.

After consideration, the council ran a further competition through CCS’s Network Services 2 framework. This commercial agreement was well-suited to the council’s requirements as it has robust terms and conditions, enables access to a supplier market with the skills and experience required to deliver the contract, and allows social value elements to be assessed alongside other criteria.

The solution was to appoint a single supplier to install, manage and support a brand new robust, scalable and flexible full fibre network.

Consisting of 633 circuits, the network will support the delivery of CCTV, traffic control and other services across the city. This will enable the roll-out of leading-edge IoT technologies – including sensor-enabled automation such as noise and pollution monitoring, footfall, flood and water management as well as measuring of footfall.

Commsworld was awarded a 10-year contract for £5.8m. This represented a cost avoidance of approximately £4.4m, calculated by comparing the successful bid against the average value of all bids received including the winning bid.

The solution delivered as part of the contract gives the council advanced technological capability to make more informed operational and strategic decisions in the future. For example, data harvesting will enable it to deliver more efficient, targeted services for the benefit of citizens.

Key to this is the availability of high-speed fibre infrastructure that could help drive forward the implementation of 5G across the city – increasing the reach of 5G to all areas of Glasgow.

In addition, the council successfully leveraged the terms of the Network Services 2 framework in order to achieve a variety of social value outcomes focused on tackling the digital divide and economic regeneration in the city. As part of the contract the successful supplier, Commsworld, agreed to recruit an apprentice, provide a mentoring programme for digital skills and offer work experience placements to those from digitally deprived backgrounds.

“We recognise the vital role that our digital infrastructure plays in the smooth running of Glasgow, which in turn impacts on the city’s prosperity and productivity,” says Councillor Angus Millar, Chair of the Digital Glasgow Board. “Working closely with Commsworld, we are firmly committed to enabling a CCTV and traffic control system that makes Glasgow’s road network more efficient, while at the same time bringing quality job opportunities to our city.

Laura Moffat, Category Manager at Glasgow City Council, adds: We chose to use the Network Services 2 framework as it met all of our assessment criteria. In addition to the framework’s suitability, we received excellent support from CCS’s category team throughout the procurement process.”

Moffat says that the council “was really pleased” with the final outcome. “As well as investing in our city’s infrastructure, we were able to build community benefits into the procurement which will have a lasting impact beyond the lifetime of the contract,” she concludes.