Our history

Our history

A diverse company built on service

Pioneering from the start

Serco began in the 1920s as a UK subsidiary of Radio Corporation of America, providing technical support for the country's growing cinema industry. Just over 30 years later, we won work that was to shape our future direction. From a maintenance contract for the UK Ballistic Missile Early Warning System at the Royal Air Force base at Fylingdales, we expanded into the operation of its technical facilities. In the 1980s this model was acknowledged as best practice by the UK Ministry of Defence and rolled out for the management of other defence facilities.

Expanding and diversifying

After a management buyout in 1987, we were renamed Serco Limited. In 1988 we listed on the London Stock Exchange which allowed us to grow and diversify. At the same time, Governments across the developed world introduced competition for programs to sustain and improve public services. Private organisations also saw the value of outsourcing support services as a way of freeing up management to focus on core activities. We moved into the civil government, transport, commercial and industrial markets, and established operations in Asia Pacific and North America.

Still leading the way

Since the 1990s, with the success of new and innovative methods of delivering public services, the market has become more complex. The development of new service delivery models has meant Serco is able to leverage our experience, diversity and expertise as a trusted partner of both government and the private sector.