Laing O’Rourke and L&G join new modular housing trade body

Modular homes are delivered to the new community of Inholme (Image courtesy of Homes England)

Manufacturers’ organisation Make UK has launched a new trade body, Make Modular, to bring together Britain’s modular housing companies.

Among members of the new organisation are TopHat, Urban Splash, Ilke Homes, Laing O’Rourke, and Legal & General Modular Homes.

Make Modular is being backed by Goldman Sachs, Laing O’Rourke, Legal & General, Sekisui House and TDR Capital, with support also from Homes England.

The move comes as Make UK said the housing market was at a “tipping point” where it could transform into the most advanced housing manufacturing market in the world in under a decade.

Make Modular members have so far invested £500m in new factories and technology, it said, with members’ factories capable of producing a new home every two hours.

Make UK warned that construction risked becoming “the new haulage”, with 25% of its workforce expected to leave the sector between 2016 and 2025, and claimed that the clean, safe and modern working conditions offered by volumetric building could bring up to 50,000 new younger people into the workforce.

It also argued that modular housing could provide the opportunity to construct offsite in regions where labour is available, with many existing factories in the Midlands and the North.

Stephen Phipson, CEO of Make UK, said: “Imaginative and speedy solutions are required to tackle Britain’s housing crisis and modular housing could certainly play a significant part in helping local authorities deliver the challenging homebuilding targets set for them by government. But to make real significant progress, modular housing needs to have equal access to land for construction with many sites still favouring traditional modes of construction.

“Modular also needs to have the weight of government procurement behind it using a joined-up approach including education, defence and housing to build much-needed scale in the UK’s modular industry.”

Dave Sheridan, chair of Make UK Modular, said: “Modular housing has grown rapidly in the last few years. The establishment of our own trade body is the crucial next step in this process. As a natural partner to government to solve the housing crisis, deliver the levelling up agenda, and combat climate change Make Modular will accelerate and advance the MMC agenda through one strong voice rather than a series of disparate ones.”

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