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  • Writer's pictureICS.AI

Derby City Council's AI Transformation Project planned to provide £12.25m annual financial savings

ICS.AI, a leader in UK public sector AI transformation, is excited to announce its expanded partnership with Derby City Council in an innovative AI project with estimated financial savings of £12.25 million annually.

This 4-year initiative, launching in 2024, is a pivotal advancement in the Council's strategy, deploying the power of AI to transform customer service operations.

Derby City Council AI Transformation

Derby City Council has already set a precedent by becoming the UK’s first Council to adopt phone-based AI, replacing traditional interactive voice response systems. This first phase, led by digital assistants Darcie and Ali, both developed by ICS.AI, launched in 2023. To date it has efficiently managed over half a million telephone and web queries, resolving 43% of enquiries without input from staff, freeing up their time to focus on more complex queries. This is double the initial target. Serving as a digital front door to council services, this ground-breaking use of AI demonstrates the Council's commitment to using emerging technology to safeguard services for citizens against a background of increasing demand and rising costs. 

The project’s next phase will see ICS.AI support Derby City Council’s expansion of AI capabilities in more service areas after a series of workshops identified 54 different use cases. Over the next four months, phase 1 will look at Adult Social Care, Customer Services and Debt Recovery, with plans in place to roll out phases 2 and 3 across other services once it is running successfully, and then widening the adoption of AI technology further across the Council.

Teams working in Adult Social Care will use the emerging technology to review care packages and help them decide if someone who needs support living at home is receiving the right level of care.

Across Customer Services, the capabilities of Darcie and Ali will be extended to become generative AI copilots, further streamlining the Council's customer service, and allowing for more complex and nuanced interactions with residents.

Introducing AI solutions to support the recovery of outstanding debt will allow the Council to gather and analyse information from across all its systems in a timelier manner than staff can currently do. With this AI assistance the Council will be able to identify where it needs to offer support to minimise debt and maximise income collection.

Across the Council AI technology will be used safely and ethically, with human oversight. The Council is dedicated to inclusive service delivery, balancing the use of AI technology with traditional contact methods. This approach ensures equitable access to council services, maintaining a comprehensive, fair, and legal service framework for all residents.

The new contract with ICS.AI is expected to generate £3.925 million of savings during the 2024/25 financial year, rising to a minimum of £12.25 million annually once fully delivered.

ICS.AI’s SMART platform plays a crucial role in this transformation. Its advanced generative AI capabilities enable the handling of more complex resident queries, improve operational workflows, and offer more personalised services. This technological leap has significant implications for the Council’s operational efficiencies and financial savings, estimated at £12.25 million annually, contributing to the Council's Medium-Term Financial Plan. This financial impact underscores the potential of AI to deliver not only enhanced services but also fiscal prudence in public sector operations.


Robin Denton, Director for Local Government at Microsoft UK, comments on the collaboration:

“Derby City Council’s pioneering use of AI, powered by ICS.AI, sets a benchmark in local government for innovative, efficient service delivery. This strategic application of AI technology into different service areas is a significant leap forward, serving as a model for others and making a real difference in the community.”

Councillor Baggy Shanker, leader of Derby City Council, said:

“The continued financial challenges in the local government sector mean we must consider how we can operate most efficiently, while continuing to deliver the best service possible. Derby City Council is a trailblazer in using AI, and we will always make sure the needs of all our citizens are at the heart of this project. New advances bring risks, which we will manage, but also some incredible opportunities to deliver the best outcomes for our citizens in a more efficient and cost-effective way.”

Martin Neale, CEO of ICS.AI, adds: “Our collaboration with Derby City Council is at the forefront of AI innovation in the public sector. The introduction of AI copilots in various service areas demonstrates the breadth and adaptability of our SMART platform in transforming public services.”

This extension of AI capabilities reflects Derby City Council's commitment to inclusive service delivery, balancing AI technology with traditional contact methods. However, the improvements in service ability are reliant on the generative AI's scalability and adaptability, combined with its 24/7 accessibility across contact channels and multi-lingual features, integral to ICS.AI’s SMART platform.

Neale concludes: “This journey with Derby City Council is just the beginning and marks a significant step by that local authority towards the future of more efficient and effective public services, but also underscoring its commitment to the wellbeing of its residents. We are excited to see how these new AI copilots will redefine service delivery and set new standards in public service innovation.”

ICS.AI’s SMART platform ensures equitable access to council systems, optimising resource use for sustainable financial management. The company also currently works with several other local authorities, including Telford & Wrekin Council, maintaining the ethical application of AI tools across the public sector.

For more information, view the Derby City Council press release about the new AI project.

Derby City Council AI Transformation Showcase Webinar

Join us on 25th April for a deep dive into the Council's AI journey to date and how the 4 year initiative aims to transform operations - register your place here.

Press Enquiries:

·        Fiona Watson – CMO, ICS.AI –

·        Nicola Corns – ICS.AI PR -

·        Derby City Council Press Office -



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