Glasgow-based IT firm teams up with peers to create major player

A Glasgow-based IT firm is one of five UK businesses to have united to form a new company with “ambitious” growth plans, aiming to smash the £100 million turnover barrier in the next three years.

Scott McEwan, former CEO of Boston Networks, is now North’s group executive director. Picture: contributed.
Scott McEwan, former CEO of Boston Networks, is now North’s group executive director. Picture: contributed.

Scotland’s Boston Networks, Wales-based Pinacl and Pinacl GDA, North Shields and Birmingham-based 2020 Vision Systems and London-headquartered PEL Services have united to rebrand as North.

The group has secured a forward order book of more than £30m since the Covid-19 pandemic began, and will be recruiting further to increase its 250 headcount.

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The five firms had been brought together via a series of mergers and acquisitions, as part of the specialist investment fund Aliter Capital’s strategy to build a “modern and progressive” network infrastructure, smart buildings, Internet of Things (IoT) and safety and security business.

North is running the £6m IoT Scotland network, part-funded by the Scottish Government, supporting businesses across the country with projects via hundreds of long-range wireless gateways.

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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.

Other recent project wins include a four-year contract with Hammersmith & Fulham Council worth more than £4m, and several other public sector projects totalling £18m.

North’s offering “has been in big demand helping companies adapt to the new environment,” the group said.

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.

Robust

“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.”

North’s group executive chairman Rob Bardwell, former chief executive of Pinacl, said: “While most sectors have experienced a heavy burden from Covid restrictions, the tech industry is well-placed for a steady stream of business.”

Boston Networks designs and deploys fixed and wireless networks, also specialising in intelligent building systems including fire and security services, and it has a dedicated maintenance division that supports “a huge percentage of our ever-growing and diverse client base”.

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