Ex-Brickie Builds a Big-Business Career; SUCCESS STORY: Former Apprentice Ian Now a Leading Construction Entrepreneur

Article excerpt

Byline: By Andrew Heath

WHEN apprentice brickie Ian Neale got his first job in the early 1980s, he had no idea he would become one of Warwickshire's most successful entrepreneurs.

Builder Ian grew up in Stockingford, near Nuneaton, watching his dad put in the hours at Standard Triumph in Canley, Coventry, while his mum worked in the kitchen of a local school.

Yet as his company prepares to celebrate its 20th anniversary, the Nuneaton-based managing director has found himself in charge of Ian Neale Construction Group - one of the county's biggest construction firms.

With the help of his commercial director Paul Roberts, Ian manages an annual turnover of pounds 6 million, 55 employees, and a similar number of contractors.

And he is about to stamp his mark on his home town by leading the development of the gleaming new rugby and football stadium in Liberty Way, due to open before the start of next season.

Ian, a married dad-of-three, said: "I started off with sub-contracting and then began more and more contracting so by the time I was 25 I was turning over more than pounds 1million a year.

"It was more or less permanent work, pretty much 24/7, and it got to the point where there was only so far I could take the company."

So in a wise move six years ago, Ian joined forces with Paul, and his surveying-based background has proved to be the perfect addition to the firm, allowing them to diversify and expand. …