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Lakehouse and Building Lives founder Steve Rawlings dies

Steve Rawlings, the founder of Lakehouse and Building Lives, has died aged 62.

Mr Rawlings, who established the building maintenance contractor Lakehouse in 1988, died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by family and friends.

The news was confirmed in a stock exchange announcement this morning.

It said: “The board of Lakehouse plc regrets to announce the death of Mr Steven Rawlings, founder and director of Lakehouse plc.

“The directors and employees of Lakehouse would like to extend their sincerest condolences to his family.”

Mr Rawlings set up the Essex company in the late 1980s from his bedroom, eventually turning it into a £340m turnover business.

During this time he started Building Lives, a network of academies that has given hundreds of disadvantaged young people a route into the construction industry.

Mr Rawlings put millions of pounds of his own money into changing the lives of those people that joined the Building Lives programme.

In 2014 he stepped down as chief executive of Lakehouse to concentrate on Building Lives.

The following year the industry, which strongly backed the aims of the charity, raised more than £400,000 to secure its short-term future. 

But last month the organisation announced it would have to close after it failed to secure long-term funding. 

In 2015 Mr Rawlings was awarded Construction News’ Awards Roll of Honour award for his services to the industry.

Mr Rawlings remained a majority shareholder in Lakehouse and after the company issued a profit warning he led a shareholder revolt this year that resulted in new management being brought in.

Last week Bob Holt was appointed the company’s new chairman, after the shock departure of CEO Sean Birrane.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Bola Abisogun

    Total shock at the news that the man himself Steve Rawlings [aka The Guv'nor] has passed; what a HUGE loss to the sector……..!!

    I had the privilege of working with this industry icon at the Building Lives Academy [BLA] in the London Borough of Hackney; make no mistake Steve - the gentleman that he was - and his BLA team really got it and he (Steve) remains an ambassador for the sector in all things ‘diversity and inclusion’.

    My personal condolences are tendered to his wonderful family; all of whom I hope will muster the much needed strength and focus at this sensitive time; our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    From all of our team in the London office at Urbanis, [Hackney]; RIP Steve, gone but never forgotten......

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