Building starts early for Gavin

Gavin Lea has set up his own business while he studies.
Gavin Lea has set up his own business while he studies.
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AN ARCHITECTURE student has set up his own business while he continues his studies.

Gavin Lea, 26, from St Annes, has launched architectural practice urBIM while he studies for his third qualification.

He said: “For the time being, it’s a home business until we expand and this will help us keep our overheads down.

“We don’t want to trouble ourselves with unnecessary bills yet.

“We’ve finished our website and have launched on Youtube, Facebook and Twitter – we’re making sure we keep the social media going which also helps bump us up search engines.”

He has set the business up with brother Robert Lea, also studying at present.

The business aims to create imaginative, functional and sustainable buildings, using a new 3D programme, Naviworld, that should help developers cut costs.

The programme allows the architect and others involved on a building project to input all of their data into the same system, ensuring vital services can be included in the plans from the outset, negating the need for costly rebuilds on site.

Gavin has a degree in fine art from St Martin’s University College in Lancaster, and an architectural degree from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, where he earned a first class honours degree and a Gilbertson Excellence scholarship.

He’s now using the scholarship award to study for a masters degree in construction project management.

Steve Pye of the Federation of Small Businesses said home-start businesses – especially those that are launched during a recession – often go on to become some of the strongest.

He added: “We need to see more small firms starting out – it will be a vital boost to the economy and just what we need.”