Refurbishment contractor Lengard set up an M&E firm this week, headed by two former employees of failed subcontractor ECG.

Russell Currie has been recruited to head the business, called Battledore, and John Hannen has joined as a project manager. The firm was registered with Companies House on Tuesday. Both worked in the London office of Glasgow heating and ventilation systems contractor ECG until it went into receivership because of problem contracts on 3 February. Currie said he plans to have five staff at Battledore by the end of the year.

Lengard, which has its headquarters in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, expects the sister company to have a turnover of £10m in three years. Currie said: "My existing clients have pretty much said that they are happy to carry on working with me."

Currie's most important client at ECG was Mansell the contractor now owned by Balfour Beatty. Lengard was also one of the companies he worked with while at ECG.

Geoffrey Goddard, Lengard chairman and managing director, said: "Russell has done this once already in London [with ECG] and unfortunately had the rug pulled out from under him.

"His ambition is to set up a solidly based company to grow over the next 20 years."

Goddard said that the new company would help him achieve his turnover ambitions for the wider group. Lengard makes about £30m a year but there are plans to hit £50m by 2009.

Goddard said the new firm would help achieve his ambitions for the wider group

Lengard is currently having its 2005 results audited, but it expects that this will register a record profit. Much of this is based on the refurbishment of red brick mansion blocks in London.

These mansionshave relatively high margins because there are few players in the market: the skills and experience needed to undertake this type of refurbishment create entry barriers for other contractors.

This week Lengard also won a community policing centre in Camden, north London.

It is the second such contract that the Metropolitan Police Authority has awarded. The first was built in Walthamstow, north-east London for £1.7m last year. Lengard was also the contractor on that scheme.

A further 27 centres in London are in the pipeline.

Lengard snapshot

  • Founded in 1964
  • Managing director and chairman is Geoffrey Goddard (pictured)
  • Goddard took over in 1983, when he was 23 years old. His predecessor was his father, who founded the business
  • Headquarters are in Hertfordshire
  • Turnover is £28m
  • Profit margin is 5-10%
  • Sectors are residential, education, healthcare and fit-out