Business across Yorkshire are backing Government’s push to make the North a world leader in building high-quality homes.
Housing Minister Esther Ms McVey said Government wants the North to become a centre of excellence in Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) to speed up delivering much-needed homes.
MMC is a combination of offsite manufacturing and onsite techniques that provide alternatives to traditional house building, allowing homes to be built quickly, be more energy efficient and better designed.
Announcing the policy to industry leaders at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield Ms McVey said:
The north of England has the potential to be the construction capital of the country for this new technology and we need to fully embrace this. I want to see a housing green revolution in the north of England where the first industrial revolution began.
With our emphasis on safety, quality and beauty, we could be the global leader in housing standards and if we get it right, once the industry matures it could be worth an estimated £40 billion to this country – a new post-Brexit industry. To build all these new homes we will need a brand-new workforce to make these homes offsite. Skilled, high quality jobs for life.
Now businesses from across the region others leading projects in the area have come out in support of the scheme.
Ilke Homes, who have a MMC factory based in Knaresborough, Yorkshire, Executive Chairman Dave Sheridan said:
This announcement is great for housing, great for the North and even better for consumers. Without a step-change in how we deliver housing, we stand little chance of moving the dial.
This announcement is great for housing, great for the North and even better for consumers. Without-a step change in how we deliver housing, we stand little chance of moving the dial.
That’s why I am delighted to see the Housing Minister take such progressive steps in directly supporting modern methods of construction. As well as the obvious investment in jobs, we have an opportunity here to bring manufacturing back to the North to enable businesses to work together to solve the biggest social issue of our time – housing.
Managing Director Paul Ruddick of Reds10 based in East Yorkshire said:
The current and future growth arising from the Government’s presumption for off-site construction is huge.
A tipping point has been reached and demand will very quickly out strip supply and without action, we will face a very significant skills shortage in the off-site market. As a Small to Medium Enterprise with an off-site assembly facility in East Yorkshire, Reds10 welcome the establishment of a construction centre for excellence to champion modern methods of construction in the North.
AMRC CEO Colin Sirett added:
What the Minister has seen here is how the combination of industry-led Research and Development and government procurement at local, regional and national level can accelerate the advent of affordable, low-carbon, energy efficient homes. She is right to say that the North is ideally placed to lead this transformation in housebuilding.
Ms McVey said more needed to be done to meet the target of 300,000 homes a year by the mid 2020s and MMC was part of the solution. And while there would always be a place for traditionally built homes, modern methods of offsite builds were needed to deliver the quantity of homes needed nationally.
Ms McVey said:
We must invest in this new technology. Some modular homes can be built in a factory over a week and assembled on site in a day. Industry has told us some homes built using modern methods can have 80 per cent fewer defects and heating bills up to 70 per cent lower. Homes built using modern methods can be of higher quality, greener and built to last.
According to industry experts just 10 per cent of homes built in 2015 used MMC.
Businesses say MMC will also play a crucial role in meeting Parliament’s zero carbon commitment for 2050.