Edinburgh City Council has awarded a £2.6m contract for upgrading the city’s CCTV network, after it emerged many of its cameras are too old to be maintained.
The new cameras are expected to help operators alert emergency services to any live incidents.
And the council said the technology would also be used to help them monitor how people travel around the city centre.
As part of the council’s ‘Digital and Smart City Strategy’, the council invited tenders to bid for two contracts – one for upgrading the CCTV network, and the other for providing a fibre network to enable it.
The first contract was awarded to Renfrew-based North SV Limited, at a total value of £2,652,450, while British Telecommunications won the £866,550 fibre optics contract.
A spokesperson for Edinburgh City Council said: “Many of Edinburgh’s CCTV cameras are no longer made and can no longer be maintained.
“Upgrading our CCTV system will improve our proactive monitoring and response to events in the city.
“Operators will be able to alert the emergency services to incidents and provide real time information to help them.
“We will start changing equipment in 2021 and the upgrade will continue into 2022.
“We don’t expect the upgrade to cause disruption to people as we are replacing the cameras and not the CCTV columns.
“As well as helping keep people safe, the new intelligent system will show us how people interact with the environment – whether that’s travelling on foot, by bike or in a vehicle.”
The awarding of the contracts is set to take place at a meeting of the council’s finance committee on Thursday August 12.
If the contracts are approved, workshops with stakeholders would then take place to discuss a list of desirable locations before any final locations are decided.
The agreed locations will then be published on the council’s CCTV upgrade web page.
The CCTV upgrade will be partially funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the 8th City Programme; Scottish Cities Alliance smart cities initiative.
This bid revolves around the upgrade of public safety infrastructure, for developing a ‘Smart City’. The ERDF project will span across 2019-2022.
A report, due to be presented to councillors on Thursday, reads: “The amount of funding confirmed from ERDF is £712,000 (40%), with £1,068,000 (60%) being match funded from the capital budget allocation for the CCTV upgrade.
“The project implementation will commence in financial year 2021/2022 and completion of the CCTV upgrade will be incurred in financial year 2022/2023.
“The maintenance costs of the equipment, £687,640, will be funded from the council’s revenue budget and continue for the life of the contract and extension periods, potentially to financial year 2031/2032.
“In addition to the maintenance costs of the equipment, additional revenue costs associated with licensing and expansion of the network over ten years are estimated to be at 364,810, which is reflected in the total cost, £2,652,450.”
If approved, the contracts will commence on September 6, 2021 for an initial period of five years, with two optional extensions of three and five years.
The existing maintenance contract for the current system expires at the end of September 2021 and maintenance cover will be provided by the successful contractor, in the interim, prior to installation of the new IP Video Surveillance System.
Reporting by Local Democracy Reporter Joseph Anderson