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Back to Coventry

Family ties and a passion for brass bands led to new challenges for Steve Lilly as regional director at Carillion.

Steve Lilly helped land a £250M land remediation contract for his employer Morrison. . . then left to join Carillion.

'We'd requalied for remediation of the Olympic site.

It was a brilliant project to land, ' he says.

But the contract meant Lilly had to travel daily to London from his home in Coventry, which soon began to take its toll. He didn't want to uproot his family so decided to look for something local and joined Carillion as regional director.

Lilly admits there was another reason to stay in Coventry. He plays principal cornet in two East Midlands-based brass bands that compete at national level. 'My main band is in the premier league of brass bands.

We've even played the Albert Hall, ' he explains.

Lilly graduated in civil engineering from Liverpool Polytechnic in 1987. 'Civil engineering fell into the middle ground, fullling both my scientic and creative aspirations.'

Summer holiday jobs with Alfred McAlpine led to a job as a graduate engineer working on the Warminster bypass project.

The project manager from that job joined contractor Shand and poached Lilly, who was keen to go to Coventry to join his girlfriend, now his wife.

Within two months of joining Shand it was bought by Morrison, which began to win remediation contracts in the mid-1990s. Lilly became an expert in the eld: 'We won the Pride Park remediation scheme for Derby City Council - a huge project, involving construction of Europe's longest cement slurry cut off wall.' Lilly plans to develop Carillion's remediation business, acquired when it bought Mowlem two years ago. 'My challenge is to get Carillion as well known for remediation as Mowlem was. I've come into a business with a £40M order book. One of my ambitions is to retain an order book of that much or more so that I remain employed. I want to be at Carillion for at least 18 years and to encourage new people into the business.'

Q&A Steve Lilly

How long have you been playing the cornet? Since I was 12.

I went round to a friend's to see if he wanted to play football and discovered him heading off to band practice with a cornet under his arm. I went along with him, was given a cornet of my own and discovered I got on pretty well with it.

Favourite piece of music? Blitz by Derek Bourgeois.

What do you like most about Coventry?

My family and my brass bands. Leading and coaching my bands is a major part of what makes me tick. I'm more than enthusiastic about them. Brass bands are my passion.

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