Housing Minister Esther McVey wants to build a green housing revolution in the North, as she announces the launch of a new ‘centre of excellence’ for Modern Methods of Construction (MMC).
The launch accompanies the announcement that the government housing agency Homes England is today funding deals worth £38.2m with six local authorities to speed up the construction of 2,072 homes across the country.
The housing minister spoke to industry leaders during a visit to Factory 2050, part of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.
The centre of excellence ambition from government will be outlined to major developers, small businesses and academics.
She also met with several apprentices working with cutting-edge technology every day, and could be at the heart of this movement.
Talking about the potential in the north of England, Ester McVey said:
“We must invest in this new technology. It’s as simple as that.
“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% fewer defects and heating bills up to 70% 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. 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.
“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.
“This could be a new hub. Think Silicon Valley. The ‘construction corridor’.”
To ensure that the industry can meet these demands, it is vital that it can stay ahead of advances in technology. With this in mind, the government plans to encourage businesses and academies across the north to join forces – sharing expertise and working together.
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