£30m boost for ‘Construction Corridor’ unveiled by Housing Minister
£30m boost for ‘Construction Corridor’ unveiled by Housing Minister

£30m boost for ‘Construction Corridor’ unveiled by Housing Minister

Government is developing a construction industry which will deliver zero carbon homes, an industry worth £40bn a year and create 80,000 new jobs.

The Government is creating the industry that will deliver Carbon Free Homes, and an industry that will create jobs and career opportunities for a new workforce.

Yorkshire, as part of the ‘Construction Corridor’, is getting a £30m boost from government going to top construction firms ilke Homes, Housing Minister Esther McVey has announced. The money is part of government’s drive to make the North of England the world-leader in the creation of modern, green homes.

Homes England will provide the funding to turbo-charge production at their factory in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire. By next year, 2,000 modular homes will roll off ilke Homes’ production line, rising to 5,000 homes a year within the next five years — making ilke Homes a top 10 UK housebuilder.

Because ilke Homes’ factory manufactures homes using precision engineering, they are more energy efficient than traditional homes, halving energy costs compared to the average UK property — creating housing that’s good for the planet and good for the pocket.

A factory environment also allows ilke Homes to ensure a high-level of quality and consistency is guaranteed for investors, developers and residents.

The result is homes that outperform those built traditionally, with ilke’s homes proven to be 100% more energy efficient than the average UK home. The investment from government housing agency Homes England will help drive these improvements further by allowing ilke Homes to scale up its operation.

MMC potential
Housing Minister Esther McVey MP said: “The North of England has the potential to lead the world in the modern methods of construction that are transforming home building. An industry that when matured would be worth £40bn a year and provide up to 80,000 jobs. We need to fully embrace this.

“This £30m investment in ilke Homes is a significant step forwards in the development of the ‘Construction Corridor’ — a new hub in the North that is front and centre of building the homes we need.

“It’s vital we invest in new technology to get Britain building. Homes built using modern methods can be of higher quality, greener and built to last.”

The investment builds on an announcement in the last week of October by Ms McVey that government wants to create a centre of excellence in the north for Modern Methods of Construction to help speed-up housebuilding to meet its target of 300,000 new homes being delivered each year by the mid-2020s.

Modern Methods of Construction are a combination of offsite manufacturing and onsite techniques that provide alternatives to traditional housebuilding, allowing homes to be built quickly, be more energy efficient and better designed. It can deliver high-quality housing at pace. By manufacturing offsite, the precision-engineered homes produced by ilke Homes are delivered twice as fast as traditional methods of construction — while creating 90% less waste.

Dave Sheridan, Executive Chairman at ilke Homes, commented: “This deal is testament to the dynamic approach Homes England is taking to address structural issues within our housing and construction industries.

“The funding will bring in further private capital, creating hundreds more skilled jobs allowing us to build more homes more quickly for first-time buyers. We want to continue driving efficiency, quality and sustainability within the housebuilding industry and see this as a fantastic signal to others wishing to do the same.”

The £30m is being allocated from the Home Building Fund, a £4.5bn fund delivered by government housing agency Homes England.

Nick Walkley, Chief Executive at Homes England, said: “Our role is to be bold and take steps to speed up the delivery of homes across the country and there is huge, untapped potential to unleash by creating more capacity in offsite manufacturing.

“Modern methods of construction offer enormous benefits to housebuilding and this deal will have a transformational effect on ilke Homes’ production.”

Mark Farmer, a Government Advisor who warned in his landmark report that the construction sector must “modernise or die”, added: “Today’s announcement highlights Homes England increasing appetite to make direct interventions into the housing market to address some of the challenges we face building high quality homes at pace. The ilke Homes product has proven itself to be among the very best and this unequivocal support from government should further incentivise investment into modern methods of construction.”

Case study: ilke Homes’ zero carbon modular council houses delight Newcastle residents
A trial project run by ilke Homes over the summer delivered the first ever modular zero carbon council homes for Newcastle (pictured below). They have proved a hit with their new residents.

The properties, situated on Somerset Place in the Elswick area, make the most of modern methods of construction, which enables massively improved insulation compared with traditional homes. Combined with solar panels and better airtightness, the homes are some of the most sustainable in the country — and they were manufactured in just six weeks in the ilke Homes factory in Yorkshire.

The homes were assembled on site by regeneration specialists ENGIE who were delivering the scheme on behalf of Newcastle City Council. The two-bedroom homes are a pilot project looking at the benefits of using modern construction methods on time, budget and energy use.

“We love the house,” said Mr Miakhail, who recently moved into one of the homes with his family. “We have so much space and a garden for our son to play in. It’s everything we were hoping for.”

Neighbour Ms Kahesay added: “It’s a lovely house in a lovely place with lovely neighbours — I couldn’t have asked for more.”

The residents were welcomed to their new home in September by Newcastle City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Linda Hobson.

“The council is always looking at new, innovative building methods and 100 years after we started building council houses in Newcastle. I think these homes are a fantastic example of what we can achieve when we think about things differently,” Councillor Linda Hobson said.

“It’s hard to believe that homes of this standard can be built in just six weeks. What surprised me most is how easily the internal layout can be adapted at the design stage to meet the diverse needs of residents which means that houses that look the same from the outside can be very different when you step inside.”

Header image shows ilke Homes’ factory in Knaresborough.

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