125 Years of EE Smith Contracts!

We are celebrating a major milestone this spring, as we reach our 125th birthday – and will be marking the occasion with numerous celebrations and team building events.

The company goes into its 125th year of trading with its largest ever order book, totalling an impressive £115 million, which will lead to record annual revenues of £60 million this year and £70 million next year.

To support the ongoing business growth and with eyes on the future, we continue to expand our award-winning apprenticeship scheme. This year, the business is increasing its number of employees more than ever before across its factory and site operations with 40 apprentices currently earning while learning across various departments in London and Leicester.

The business was founded back in 1897 by Edward Elijah Smith who supplied and repaired gas stoves and chandeliers from Canning Street, Leicester.

In 1937, he employed 14-year-old apprentice Basil Richardson who, after serving in the Second World War, returned to find Mr Smith in poor health, leaving Basil as the managing director and foreman at just 22!

Basil put the company back on the road to prosperity, and later taught his eldest sons, Rodney and Nigel, who worked their way up through the business to take over in 1989.

Under their guidance, EE Smith Contracts continued to thrive when the company expanded and developed into the super prime residential and five-star hotel market before a management buy-out in 2016, including Basil’s youngest son John Richardson.

Rodney Richardson said there are not many companies in its sector that have been in existence for as long as EE Smith Contracts and with such a wide breadth of experience.

“We have always delivered to a very high quality, with a real customer focus and I think that has been vital to our success and longevity,” he said.

This trade-based, directly employed but customer centric approach to the joinery and interior-fit out sector led the company to undertake some of the most iconic projects across London such as the Savoy Hotel, Battersea Power Station, the Houses of Parliament, One Hyde Park Penthouses and The Corinthia Hotel.

Further testament to the excellence EE Smith has continued to offer over the decades is the 40-year continuing relationship with the Edwardian hotel group, culminating in the recent fit out of The Londoner Hotel in Leicester Square which is the largest in the company’s history and included a full fit out of 355 bedrooms and bathrooms and all of the public area spaces.

Neil Bottrill, managing director at EE Smith Contracts, said that the 125-year milestone was an incredible achievement and was a testament to the hard work and skill base throughout the company and the loyalty of the staff who give the business, despite its size, a real family feel.

“Our current portfolio of projects is amongst the best in the UK fit-out and joinery markets and we have every reason to believe that further exciting times are ahead for the business,” he said.

“We are growing year-on-year and we currently have 40 apprentices, doubling last year’s apprentice joiner workforce. We hope they will rise through the ranks and be an asset to the company as we teach them the skills we have always relied on for EE Smith Contracts to prosper.

“Despite our evolution over the years our core values established by Edward Elijah Smith in 1897 are the same, as we strive to deliver the highest quality product and service whilst operating as a close-knit community, with our incredible people at the forefront of our success.

“We will continue using the latest cutting-edge technology and seamlessly merging this with our unparalleled craftsmanship to continue setting the standard in our industry. Here’s to the next 125 years!”

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