A GLOBAL IT firm wants to increase its Borders workforce by more than 50 in the next year following the opening of its new headquarters.

Canadian-based CGI had planned to open its Tweedbank facility in 2021, but the project was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It was formally opened on Friday (November 3) at an event attended Scottish Borders Council (SBC) leader Euan Jardine.

The local authority has been working with CGI since 2016 and extended its contract with the firm until 2040 around two years ago.

Border Telegraph: CGI HQ in TweedbankCGI HQ in Tweedbank

“As part of our original contract with CGI, signed in 2016, there was a commitment to develop an IT service centre within the region and I am delighted that this has been delivered in Tweedbank as part of the wider innovation park work," said Mr Jardine, a Conservative councillor for Galashiels.

“This facility will enable CGI to not only support the long-term partnership we have in place, but also other contracts and will provide the opportunity for further growth and new jobs, helping our local economy and creating opportunities for our young people.

“This includes delivering on their contractual commitment with us of providing 125 jobs.”

The company has invested significantly in the move to the new office, near the Borders Railway terminus.

Border Telegraph: Scottish Borders Council leader Councillor Euan Jardine at CGI Headquarters in Tweedbank Scottish Borders Council leader Councillor Euan Jardine at CGI Headquarters in Tweedbank

Currently it employs more than 70 people in the region but hopes to increase that number to 125 this year, adding to its overall Scottish workforce of more than 500.

Back in 2020, CGI’s Lindsay McGranaghan – senior vice president for Scotland and Northern Ireland – outlined a desire for the Borders to become the 'most technologically advanced rural area' in Europe.

The contract extension with CGI faced criticism at the time, with the council rejecting allegations that the deal had been done in 'secret'.

At Friday's event, Mr Jardine was joined by fellow councillors, SBC senior officials, members of the Southern Knights rugby team – which has a partnership with CGI – and local business owners.

Guests saw demonstrations of some of the work carried out since the council began its relationship with CGI – as well as 'exciting' future projects.

Ms McGranaghan said: “I’d very much like to thank councillor Jardine, the councillors, and representatives of Scottish Borders Council, and all our guests for attending what is a historic day for CGI in the Scottish Borders.

“Despite unfortunate delays to this official opening due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are delighted it has now taken place.

“Our Tweedbank office reinforces our commitment to expanding our local workforce – a key part of CGI’s metro model of working.”