Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

How Painting Can Make Pots of Money

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

How Painting Can Make Pots of Money

Article excerpt


FORTY-FOUR-YEAR-OLD Kevin McLoughlin is proud to admit he's a millionaire. Sitting in his smart office in Islington, he explains that his painting and decorating firm, K&M McLoughlin Decorating, is currently turning over [pound]2.5 million a year and employing 60 staff. It is responsible for some for the most prestigious decorating work in the country. Recent contracts have included the Houses of Parliament, the Bank of England gold vaults, the Hyatt Carlton Tower hotel in Knightsbridge and the Egyptian and Antiquities Room at the British Museum. "We also did up Lady Jane Grosvenor's flat recently," he adds.

But it hasn't always been this way -McLoughlin was not born into a wealthy family and did not inherit a business passed down the generations. "I left school at 15 without a qualification to my name and with no idea of what I wanted to do," he says.

"My dad had had TB, so did not work and couldn't give me any guidance and there was no careers advice from anyone else either."

McLoughlin considers that he was fortunate, however, because back in the 1970s jobs were plentiful and he had no difficulty finding employment.

"I had a few friends working in the building trades and thought it sounded as good as anything else, so I walked into Islington Council and said I wanted to do an apprenticeship in painting," he explains. "I was interviewed on the spot, given a trial and was then put on a four-year apprenticeship programme, on a wage of [pound]6.88 a week."

Over the next four years McLoughlin carried out painting jobs at libraries, old people's homes, swimming pools and council estates and on each job he was teamed up with a more senior tradesman to show him what to do. He also spent one day a week at college, at the end of which he gained a City and Guild's craft certificate. …

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