Three local employees from a now defunct North East company have successfully launched a new business to design and manufacture pre-fabricated multi-service modules to the construction industry, using a £75,000 Virgin StartUp business loan.  

(l-r) Bill Hartshorne from TEDCO along with Simon Smith, Darren Tucker and Lee Brennan from DSG Modular.

Lee Brennan (48), Darren Tucker (54) and Simon Smith (30) have launched DSG Modular Limited to offer a fully-rounded service in modular pre-fabrication solutions and are one of the few independent businesses in the UK to offer fabricated modules which are designed, manufactured and supplied in-house. 

The trio worked with TEDCO Business Support through the Start and Grow programme to successfully secure a Virgin StartUp low-cost business loan to fund initial capital required to get the business up and running.  

Just a few short months later and the firm is employing 7 members of staff and already looking to upscale their current premises at Bede Industrial Estate in South Shields to support their manufacturing needs.  

The modules created by DSG Modular are used in the construction of hospitals, schools, commercial and residential buildings and student accommodation. The modules offer a high quality, efficient solution to the current industry issues of shortage of skilled site labour and reduced build schedules. Each module is supplied complete with all mechanical services and electrical containment fitted and are bespoke, designed to fit the individual needs of clients.  

Since the launch in late 2016, the team have been successful in securing a number of prestigious contracts including The Christie Hospital in Manchester and a major new education facility in Berkshire. 

Lee Brennan, Director at DSG Modular comments: 

“When working for our former employer, we knew the product was not only excellent, but had huge potential for the national and international construction sector if managed in the right way.”

“As soon as we found out the business was going to cease trading, we knew that with our experience and skills in the management, design and manufacture of pre-fabricated modules, we could offer a product that would be widely embraced by the industry.  We just had to ensure that business was established in the right way to act on the opportunities available to us.”

“Our first few months have really exceeded every expectation we had and we are already searching for new premises 3-4 times bigger than our current unit. This will help support and expand the manufacturing side of the business based upon the contracts we have already secured and a very busy new business pipeline.” 

“We are already employing seven people across administrative and manufacturing roles but with the order book we have in place we would expect this to increase to 15-20 people by the end of the year.  The team have really pulled together to create not only a great product but establish our start-up business with a number of transformative contracts designed to make DSG Modular one of the key names in pre-fabrication solutions for the construction sector.” 

DSG Modular worked with TEDCO Business Support as part of the Start And Grow programme, which aims to help new ventures successfully begin trading through one-to-one mentoring and coaching and securing outside investment.  Business advisor Bill Hartshorne worked closely with the core team at DSG Modular to successfully secure a low-cost business loan offered by Virgin Start-Up as part of the government-backed start-up loans programme, exclusively delivered by TEDCO in the North East.

Lee continues:

“The support from Bill at TEDCO has been essential and he has been a real source of support, advice and guidance as we worked to get the business ready for trading.
The Virgin StartUp programme offers a much-needed opportunity for new businesses with big ambitions to secure financing at a low-cost. The business could not be in a better position to move forward successfully and we are already looking forward to what the next 12 months will bring to DSG Modular.”

DSG Modular was supported by TEDCO Business Support as part of the Start and Grow programme, which is delivered by TEDCO in the North East and supported by the Regional Growth Fund (RGF).  The programme is delivered throughout England by Cavendish Enterprise in areas where there are low levels of business start-up to help new enterprises get up and running and develop new employment opportunities in the private sector with a range of services, including one-to-one mentoring, business planning and helping new ventures get investment ready.

Bill Hartshorne, business advisor at TEDCO Business Support said: 

“The team behind DSG Modular have shown the true signs of entrepreneurial drive.  They recognised that the product had huge potential if designed and sold in the correct way and have worked hard to get a business plan and structure in place that supports growth and quality at every level.  The opportunities for DSG Modular really know no bounds as the construction sector have already recognised the value of pre-fabricated modular solutions in their commercial schemes.  It has been a pleasure working with the team and I wish them every success.”

For more information on the Start and Grow programme or Virgin StartUp, please visit www.tedco.org