The UK Government has announced the opening of two new defence IT service centres in the Scottish Highlands.

The sites are located in Highland council areas Nairn and Inverness of Scotland and will create 250 full-time jobs in Scotland, boosting the area’s local economy.

The centres have been built as part of a five-year contract worth £225m set up by defence with technology company Capgemini.

The deal with Capgemini was announced last year and aims to boost the Highlands’ status as a major ‘IT centre of excellence’.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “The opening of these two centres in the Highlands are further examples of how defence is boosting prosperity through the investment and skills footprint it brings.

“Part of a £225m modernisation, supporting hundreds of jobs, including providing employment for ex-forces personnel, these sites will help ensure our armed forces have the IT tools they need to succeed.”

The new facilities will manage all the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) 200,000 IT customers, providing around-the-clock assistance throughout the year.

UK Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said: “Effective and reliable Information Technology is vital for all areas of Defence, whether at home or across the globe on military operations, and our brilliant new service centres will be providing a critical service to boost our service resilience.

“It is fantastic that our investment has been able to provide 250 full-time, high-quality jobs in Scotland, including for a number of ex-service personnel.”

The Scottish investment in the new centres is also part of an additional £1.5bn spending by the UK’s Strategic Command ‘Defence Digital’ over the next ten years to support digital transformation.

In May 2019, the UK MoD announced £22m in financing towards creation of new British Army cyber operations centres across the nation.