A former Royal Marine's business has been growing so much he has moved it from his living room to Ocean Village in Southampton.

Luke Tanner spent 11 years in Royal Marines service before setting up Empire Electrical & Mechanical Solutions in August 2020.

Beforehand, a year’s stint with a company on a building site made him realise his future lay in running a business rather than being employed in one.

Luke’s start-up recently got to the point where it outgrew his living room in Southampton because of all the equipment, IT resources and meeting space needed.

The business now has a team of 14, including six staff, with clients including a FTSE 100 company and the British Government.

Empire Electrical & Mechanical now has an office at Ocean Village Innovation Centre, with plans to increase in size within the next six months.

Luke said: “I believed in my abilities to outperform my previous employers, leading me to venture out on my own.

“Three years later, my venture has grown into a robust business with a dedicated team of 14, expanding into mechanical services.

“I am dedicated and highly ambitious, with a strong work ethic shaped by my military experience.

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“This background has instilled in me a structured and methodical approach to tasks, guided by stringent regulations and systematic planning.”

He added: “This disciplined mindset has proven to be a valuable asset in my professional endeavours, particularly in fostering strong relationships with my clients and enhancing my efficiency and reliability in meeting their needs.

"Many business owners will find this familiar: after establishing a strong reputation, your name begins to circulate widely.

“Subsequently, you'll find an increase in project requests arriving via email or even direct visits to your office, which is an incredibly rewarding experience.”

Empire Electrical & Mechanical, which has a second director with Kieron Haines, also draws upon the expertise of a trusted pool of electrical sub-contractors.

Scope of work includes design, installation, testing, maintenance, renewable and refurbishment in commercial, industrial, and domestic buildings.

Stephen Deller, OVIC’s centre manager, said: “Luke’s business growth story is one that many business owners can relate to and an expansion story we are familiar with here – a number of our occupiers started their firms at home before moving in.

“Luke has been saying that there had been an uptick in demand from companies to fit circadian lighting for staff and visitors, showing how seriously employers are taking wellbeing in the workplace.”