finance

Company formed to target IT business growth in the year of the pandemic



Five pioneering UK technology, networking and safety & security providers have come together to form a new company with ambitious growth plans, having secured a £30m plus forward order book since the Covid-19 emergency began.

Glasgow-based Boston Networks, Wales-based Pinacl and Pinacl GDA, North Shields-based 2020 Vision Systems and London-based PEL Services have united to rebrand as North.

The five companies had been brought together via a series of acquisitions and mergers – as part of a specialist investment fund Aliter Capital’s strategy.

It is seeking to build a modern and progressive network infrastructure, smart buildings, Internet of Things (IoT) and safety and security business, delivering specialist services to its clients.

While businesses in many sectors have struggled throughout lockdown, the specialist services of North’s constituent parts in providing integrated technology and networking provision has been in big demand to help companies adapt to the new environment.

In recent months North’s constituent parts have won a string of new business wins totalling more than £30m in a diverse range of industries right across the UK.

Throughout this period, North has strengthened its team through new strategic appointments and will be recruiting further to increase its 250 headcount.

It plans to exceed £100m turnover in the next three years.

Recent project wins include:

  • A four-year contract with Hammersmith & Fulham Council worth £4m plus, with North appointed to relocate the Council’s safety & security command and control facility,
  • Several government and other public sector projects totalling £18m

North is seeking to offer a unique breadth and depth of specialist knowledge across the Internet of Things (IoT), networking and connectivity, and safety and security.

It is running the £6m IoT Scotland network, part funded by the Scottish Government, supporting businesses across the country with projects via hundreds of LPWAN (Long Range) wireless gateways located throughout the country.

An early target of the new company will be to engage with other UK local and regional authorities aiming to roll out similar IoT infrastructures UK-wide.

North’s Group executive chairman Rob Bardwell, former chief executive of Pinacl, said:“This remarkable year has seen a shift in the way we all live and work, with working from home now a reality for many now and into the future.

“Technology and network solutions have never been more pertinent for companies and we know they are now high up on the board agenda of every organisation.

“While most sectors have experienced a heavy burden from Covid restrictions, the tech industry is well placed for a steady stream of business and we will be the gold star option.”

North’s Group executive director Scott McEwan, former chief executive of Boston Networks, said: “Throughout the pandemic all of our constituent companies have bucked the trend by securing major contract wins which have added to our growth trajectory and it’s a very exciting time for North to be born.

“In recent years we’ve gone from strength to strength, and through bringing each of the group’s companies together we have a unique offering and expertise within the business to tackle the challenges of our customers across the UK and globally.

“Covid-19 has put network infrastructure and the safety and security of people, buildings and assets at the top of the agenda for both private sector companies and the public sector as they require robust and secure systems at the heart of their organisations during the pandemic and in the future.”



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