A company in Warwickshire is laying the foundations for further growth after building from six to 50 staff in less than two years.
Urban Civil Engineering, which was founded in Leamington and is now based in Offchurch, was formed in August 2014 by friends and colleagues Adrian Duncan and Jason Green to provide a full groundworks and infrastructure service to the construction industry, particularly homebuilders.
Between them, they have 42 years’ experience in the sector and from day one, when they initially offered labour services only, they could see the potential of offering plant and materials to their clients too.
They wanted to implement a rapid growth plan but when they couldn’t access traditional funding, they were referred to the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub.
The Growth Hub, which acts as a signposting and business advice service to companies, assessed the firm’s initial needs and put them in touch with the Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT).
That led to an initial loan of £50,000 in the first year – which was paid back in full – with a further £70,000 that followed in the current financial year.
Without the cash and the support from the Growth Hub they wouldn’t have been able to implement such a rapid growth plan, which has led to them winning business with the likes of Persimmon Homes, AC Lloyd and Barwood Homes.
The company, which is expected to double its turnover this year from £3million to £6million, provides everything from the laying of drainage and the creation of new roads through to block-paving and flooring.
“It’s been a fantastic start in business for us,” said Adrian, whose dad – Adam – works for the business, having employed his son at a previous company.
“The advice and the support from the Growth Hub has worked wonders. We needed the finance to be able to have enough cashflow to be able to buy materials as it takes some time to build credibility with a supplier.
“We could have grown without it but it has meant we have been able to accelerate the growth and bring in more staff more quickly. We have the potential for much more work and we can see ourselves expanding again.
“The market has been really strong and it’s very likely we’ll need to recruit more people very soon too.
“We already employ several members of family - including my father, who I worked for previously. I don’t think he minds taking instructions from me!”
Jaymie Thakordas, of the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub, said the company had put itself in a very strong position to grow.
She said: “When they were turned down for traditional funding, they were referred to the Growth Hub and we looked at all the options available to them that would be suitable for their growth plan.
“That’s when we introduced them to CWRT, which has provided £120,000 finance over two years and that has allowed Urban Civil Engineering to push forward with its expansion plans.
“Further to access to funding, we’ve been able to offer a sounding board on a range of matters to help them within the business and that has helped them to make the necessary decisions to move the company forward.”