North could lead world in housing revolution

The North of England has the potential to become a world leader in the creation of modern, high-quality homes, a Cabinet Minister will say on a visit to Yorkshire today.

Esther McVey

Housing Minister Esther McVey will meet with developers, businesses and academics at the Factory 2050 site in Sheffield today (Thurs Oct 24) as she announces a new ‘centre of excellence’ in the North for Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), a range of techniques providing alternatives to traditional house-building.

The scheme will see businesses link up with academics across the North, sharing expertise and working together, to ensure that the industry has the skills it needs to keep up with the technology coming down the line.

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The ‘centre of excellence’ will create a new network of people, connected in their aim to boost the use of MMC whilst also sharing ideas and future uses.

It comes as industry figures show the number of new homes being registered slowed down in the third quarter of this year.

There were 39,364 registrations – down by nine per cent compared with the same period a year earlier, the National House Building Council (NHBC) said.

In Yorkshire there were 2,284 new home registrations between July and September, 21 per cent down on the total for the same period in 2018.

Homes England has today agreed funding deals worth £38.2m with six local authorities to speed up the construction of 2,072 homes across the country.

The deals are the latest to be awarded through the Government’s £350m Local Authority Accelerated Construction programme, which was launched to accelerate the delivery of local authority housing schemes and encourages the use of MMC.

During the visit to Factory 2050, described as “the UK’s first state of the art factory”, the Housing Minister will meet apprentices who are working towards qualifications in Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, working with cutting-edge technology day in and day out. She will also see a new development in Leeds built using MMC.