Steel firm to double capacity and targets £10m sales

Wirral steel installation, fabrication and recruitment firm Eminent Group tells LBN it will create more jobs this year as it doubles capacity and targets £10m turnover within two years. Tony McDonough reports

Daniel Lay
Daniel Ley, founder and managing director of Eminent Group


A Wirral steel installation, fabrication and recruitment firm will create more jobs this year as it doubles capacity and aims to more than double its turnover to £10m within two years.

In an interview with LBN, Eminent Group founder and managing director Daniel Ley said the business is currently building new offices to expand its recruitment operation.

He is also aiming to build another 7,000 sq ft fabrication workshop at its site in Valley Road Business Park in Birkenhead to add to its existing 6,000 sq ft facility.

Eminent Group employs around 20 people directly and will increase its headcount by another five or six in the next few weeks – with more opportunities in the pipeline for later in the year.

It operates three divisions – installation, fabrication and recruitment. The installation team can turn their hands to a complete range of structural and architectural steel installations up to 1,000 tonnes. 

Eminent provides a full range of steel fabrication services, from design and detailing to fabrication and installation.

On the recruitment side, where Daniel sees the biggest potential for growth, Eminent can supply hundreds of skilled workers to carry out steel or mechanical installations in the UK or overseas. 

The business has supplied skilled people for some of the world’s best-known businesses including Bentley Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Amazon, Hermes, Yodel, Royal Mail and ASDA Walmart.

“We work across multiple sectors including construction, automotive and engineering,” he told LBN. “We have worked in France, Germany, Belgium and we do a lot of work in Ireland. And we have also worked in the US.

“At the moment we have a job on in Kurdistan to help with work on a canning factory. As far as I am aware we are the only firm in the UK doing the fabrication, installation and recruitment. 

“Amazon in Kirkby was our biggest job last year. The revenue from that was around £1.2m. It was 100 men for 20 weeks.

“We are expanding rapidly. Last year we tendered for around £7m of work and we brought in £4m in sales – that is a really high hit rate. In the first quarter of this year we have already tendered for more than £3m of work.

“Because the way the company is set up with the three divisions, it makes us quite different.”


Eminent Group
Daniel Lay and Megan Smith on the Eminent Group podcast


Daniel has worked in engineering since the age of 16 having started out as an apprentice welder fabricator. He was quickly promoted to workshop foreman before acquiring the business aged just 21. 

“I was an apprentice and I took over the business from my old boss. He handed over the keys. I then went contracting for a few years,” he explained.

“In 2015 I was a welder fabricator and I had an opportunity to bring on a couple of people with me on the construction of Liverpool FC’s main stand at Anfield.

“Within 12 weeks one of the lads got a job out in Belgium and he managed to get me out there with him and that was our first big job in recruitment. We had about 15 men out there for a year.

“It just kind of snowballed from there. We then brought in the installation side of the business which was fixed price jobs. Then a couple of years ago we introduced the fabrication shop.”

Eminent has doubled its turnover every year for the past four years. Last year it hit £4m and now Daniel, and commercial director Megan Smith, believe the expansion of the business will see turnover pass £10m within two years.

“Building new offices means we can expand the recruitment side of the business. We think that division alone can give us £5m in extra turnover,” added Daniel.

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“Our strike rate for winning contracts is really high. Many firms will expect to get around 20% of jobs they tender for. Last year our strike rate was in excess of 50%.

“This year is looking better again. The size of the projects we are winning are getting bigger. We used to be happy with jobs worth £20,000 to £30,000 but now we are consistently winning projects worth six figures.

Daniel is also proactive in using social media to enhance the profile of Eminent. On Linked In alone it has almost 25,000 followers and he has now launched a series of podcasts.

“I have gone from being a solo worker to owning a seven-figure turnover business. It has been a very rapid rise,” he added.

“I think our story really grabs the attention of people due to the background and the way the company was formed and how quickly it’s expanded. We have come a long way in such a short space of time.”

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