Group First is one of the leading property investment firms in the United Kingdom. After a recent acquisition of six long-term parking lots surrounding Glasgow Airport, Group First implemented the AutoVu automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system to streamline parking.

The company

As one of the leading property investment firms in the United Kingdom, Group First has been focused on creating stable and profitable long-term opportunities for its investors since 1998. The company offers a diversified portfolio of investments from serviced apartment blocks, housing estates, and business centers to industrial estates, self-storage facilities and international airport car parks. Group First recently acquired six long-term parking lots surrounding Glasgow Airport.

The challenge

The parking service provides a total of 8500 spaces to travelers who can book parking through an easy online booking application called Speed Park. After acquiring the lots, Group First recognized an immediate need for a better parking management system that would be able to link directly to its investor database for easy profitability reporting. Group First also wanted to improve the customer experience and offer a seamless parking journey by incorporating greater automation.

"The whole transaction, from booking to parking to generating reports for our investors has been simplified, and is far more efficient than our previous solution.”


John Slater, Managing Director, Group First


Group First implemented a customized solution built by Beacon Parking Services Ltd and NetFM UK Ltd. using the AutoVu ANPR system of Security Center. Customers book their parking in advance through the Speed Park website. On the scheduled arrival date, they drive up to the lot where their number plate is scanned by an ANPR camera. The system compares that number plate to a database of permitted plates and grants access by opening the barrier gate.

According to John Slater, Managing Director at Group First, “Our parking service is all about making our customers lives easier and that is exactly what the AutoVu solution helps us do. The fully customized system also helps us streamline investor relations by automating our performance reports. From a business perspective, we expect to realize a full return on this technological investment in less than a year.”

The Solution

Automated Parking System

Customers can book their parking in advance. The vehicle’s number plate and other data are synced between the booking software and AutoVu system, granting vehicle access on arrival.

Improved Customer Experience

Group First can receive real-time data such as the number of customers waiting for the airport shuttle service at any given time, helping to streamline its shuttle schedule.

Better Control

If there is a rogue vehicle or a vehicle who decides to tailgate into the lot, the ALPR system will send an alert to Group First operators who can then dispatch security.

Improved Investor Relations

Through the integration with Speed Park software, Group First sends automated monthly reports on revenues generated from the lot, usage of the lot, and more to its investors.

Need more information about this project?

Need expert advice?

Fill out the form below to see how our solutions could help your organization. You’ll get an answer by email shortly.