ONE of York's oldest businesses has been bought by Europe’s biggest privately-owned IT services firm.

Technology specialists, The Saville Group Limited and its trading brand Visavvi, are embarking on a new era following the acquisition by SCC.

The Nether Poppleton-based audio visual integration specialists Saville Group has a long heritage in the city, dating back to 1876.

It holds top industry accreditations and partnerships. Through its brand Visavvi, it has won the coveted AV Integrator of the Year award three times, including 2021.

The acquisition will see the company trade as ‘Visavvi, an SCC business'.

Andy Dyson remains as managing director of Visavvi, alongside directors Colin Etchells and Ann Pickard.

Andy said: “This is an incredibly exciting and positive step for the company and I, alongside my fellow directors, look forward to continued success powered by our new, strengthened business position.”

Savilles was founded in Goodramgate, York, in 1876 as a chemist, and like many old fashioned chemists started developing photographs.

During the Second World War, it provided mobile 16mm film projectors for military training and showing newsreels.

After the war, it became the company’s stock in trade providing a visual aid for schools, universities and business, and holding mobile film shows throughout Yorkshire in village halls, clubs and hotels.

It has since become a multi-million-turnover audiovisual company which employs hundreds of staff at oulets across the UK.

During the pandemic, Saville Group - who were already firm advocates of video communications- helped to deliver critical communication systems for the NHS, Government, military and public sector.

In October 2020, Saville Group started working with the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS), as well as ODEON cinemas on a pioneering venture to help run court sessions with remote jurors sitting in a cinema auditorium.

The project secured £5.5m of Scottish Government funding, and the remote Jury Centres were a first in the United Kingdom, attracting interest from the rest of the UK and beyond.

Welcoming 130 skilled AV professionals provides the catalyst for SCC to deepen its specialisms across the commercial and private sectors.

This includes in education, where SCC will deliver solutions to UK multi-academy trusts for the first time.

SCC AVS was formed in 2018 following the merger of SCC’s AV business with avsnet.

The acquisition of Visavvi will build on organic growth achieved in the past three years.

SCC AVS has more than doubled in size since 2020, with a larger focus on growth areas, such as digital workplace solutions accelerated by new hybrid working models.

Graham Fry, managing director of SCC AVS, said: “This acquisition is a milestone moment for SCC AVS, with organic growth fuelled by customers on a transformation journey requiring digital workplace solutions that enable anytime, anywhere collaboration in real time.

"Visavvi enables SCC AVS to focus on accelerating its growth strategy by adding scale, capability, and a wider geographical reach in the UK to deliver outstanding AV services to customers.

“We have extensive technology expertise and proven people skills, building strong and trusted relationships with our clients across the corporate, education, healthcare, public and government sectors. We look forward to welcoming our new colleagues from Visavvi and continuing this journey together.”

James Rigby, chief executive of SCC, said: “It was important to acquire a business that complements our own, both in terms of capability and culture.

"Visavvi strengthens our capability in education, with its leading specialism in large space AV suitable.

"Meanwhile, existing Visavvi customers will benefit from SCC’s expertise in voice and collaboration, supporting the shift to the digital workplace.”

Andy Dyson, Colin Etchells and Ann Pickard are joined in the boardroom by Graham Fry and Mark Nutter, of SCC.

Steve Rigby, co-chief executive of Rigby Group, SCC’s parent company, chairs the new board.