Welsh government pumps £45m into modular housing industry

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MMC strategy, wales housing

The Welsh government is encouraging the use of modern methods of construction (MMC) in its new strategy to help build better quality homes faster

As part of the Welsh government’s new MMC strategy ‘Reimagining social housebuilding in Wales’, ministers are making a £45m investment in the modular housing industry in Wales.

This is to ensure it can deliver the next generation of social housing that people need.

To back Welsh business, Ministers plan to help this next generation of homes to be built utilising national assets such as Welsh steel and Welsh timber.

There will also be a focus on using the emerging MMC industry in Wales to pursue Welsh social and ethical ambitions, including developing skills and market-leading technical expertise in communities hardest hit by the decline of traditional industries. The investment will also help firms invest in locally sourced labour.

Modern methods of construction strategy

£20m is being made available for MMC businesses, who in partnership with Welsh social landlords, want to build the next generation of social housing. This investment is designed to help and encourage the market, especially SMEs, to develop off-site manufacture (OSM) solutions such as supply chains, factories, skills development centres, that meet the needs of the next generation of social housing in Wales.

A further £25m is being made available for round 4 of the Welsh government’s Innovative Housing Programme, which will focus on innovative housing delivered through MMC.

The strategy supports the Welsh government’s ambitions to reduce carbon emissions from the housing sector. It also supports the move to a circular economy, as building with MMC could reduce construction waste by as much as 70-90%.

MMC will bring significant benefits to the Welsh economy, including:

  • Creating new jobs and developing the new skills required to accommodate greater use of MMC, which will represent a sea-change in the construction industry
  • Upskilling the existing construction workforce
  • Attracting new and diverse entrants from marginalised groups such as offenders and those who wouldn’t necessarily consider careers in traditional construction such as women.

Housing Minister, Julie James said: “Over the last 4 years, this Welsh government has invested £2bn in new housing across Wales, as part of our ambition to deliver 20,000 affordable homes by 2021.

“Building more social and affordable homes is a key priority for the Welsh government.”

“Gone are the days of MMC’s association with poor quality, temporary, pre-fabricated housing; MMC now produces high quality, desirable and energy-efficient affordable homes that tenants can be proud of. We have certainly moved from Pre-Fab to Ab-Fab!

“Developing the MMC industry in Wales presents us with a great opportunity to not only build beautiful new social housing but also kick-start a new industry that will become increasingly important for our economy.”

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