Barnsley charity swoops for firm

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A Barnsley training and education charity has acquired a Bradford firm to extend its reach across the region.

ITS Group has bought SmartStyle Technology Training Ltd, a commercial training firm, to add to college sites in Barnsley, Doncaster and Huddersfield.

ITS Group CEO, Dr Chris Payne, said although buying a commercial organisation was an unusual move for a charity, it was part of a wider plan to grow nationally while remaining committed to its charitable objectives.

Bradford business SmartStyle will continue to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary, complementing the group’s apprenticeship training offer.

ITS Group CEO, Dr Chris Payne, said: “I am very excited about this new chapter in the history of ITS Group and SmartStyle Technology Training Ltd.

“This acquisition has not only extended the geographic reach of the group, but will also enable us to use the expertise of both SmartStyle and Independent Training Services to deliver an all-in-one solution for our clients.

“The SmartStyle team has been positive and welcoming, ensuring the transition has been seamless and client-focused.

Managing partner, Paul Trudgill of hlw Keeble Hawson LLP in Sheffield, said: “For more than three decades the ITS Group has earned a strong reputation as a quality driven training and education provider.

“We wish Dr Chris Payne and the team continued success following this milestone acquisition.”

Lead advisor, Andy Ryder of Shorts Chartered Accountants, said: “I am sure Smartstyle will prove to be an astute acquisition.”