Rawlings died peacefully after a short illness, the company says

Lakehouse founder and director Steve Rawlings has died, the company has said.

The board of Lakehouse said he died peacefully after a short illness surrounded by his family and friends.

Rawlings set up the Essex-based contractor in 1988, stepping down as the firm’s chief executive in October 2014 in order to spend more time running his training-focused social enterprise Building Lives, which closed last month.

He left Lakehouse following its £140m flotation on the stock market last year, but maintained a substantial shareholding.

Rawlings returned to Lakehouse earlier this year as a non-exec director after leading a shareholder revolt after a profit warning from the firm in February which prompted a drop in the value of its shares.

Rawlings had told Building before he successfully secured a boardroom shake-up at Lakehouse: “I’m retired, I don’t want a full-time job but I’d like to know what’s going on and what’s gone wrong. I know the people in that company and they are calling me every week and I think the wrong people are in place.”

In a statement on the stock exchange this morning, Lakehouse said: “The Board of Lakehouse plc regrets to announce the death of Mr. Steven Rawlings, founder and director of Lakehouse plc.

“He died peacefully after a short illness, surrounded by his family and friends. The directors and employees of Lakehouse would like to extend their sincerest condolences to his family. A further announcement will be made in due course.”

Update 26 July: Andrew Harrison has been appointed non-exec director at Lakehouse - he was previously acting as an alternate director to Rawlings since 3 June 2016.