Government plans for green centre of housebuilding in the North of England

The north of England has the potential to become a world-leader in the creation of modern, high-quality homes, Housing Minister Esther McVey suggests.

Speaking to industry leaders at Factory 2050, part of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, the minister announced the Government’s ambition for a new ‘centre of excellence’ for Modern Method of Construction (MMC) in the north.

Esther McVey said:

“The benefits are clear. 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.

“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 leaders in housing standards.

“And if we get it right, once the industry matures it could be worth an estimated £40 billion to this country.”

The government housing agency, Homes England, has also announced funding deals with 6 local authorities, worth £38.2 million, to speed up the construction of 2,072 homes across the country.

The deals are the latest to be awarded through the government’s £350 million Local Authority Accelerated Construction programme, which was launched to accelerate the delivery of local authority housing schemes by allowing local authorities to build on surplus land and encourages the use of MMC.

Mark Farmer, Chair of the MMC Working Group, said:

“The UK has a fantastic opportunity to become a true world leader in the advanced manufacturing of new homes. We urgently need to better assure building safety, improve quality, reduce carbon and offer much more consumer choice and protections.

“These improvements will only be achieved if we fundamentally readdress the way we design and deliver new homes. As part of achieving this aim, the establishment of a centre of excellence for modern methods of construction in the north of England will leverage what is already a growing part of the regional economy.”

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