Sevenoaks Modular, a Neath-based specialist in timber frame construction, aims to invest £6.5m in acquiring and regenerating a large part of the metal box site in Neath
Known locally as the Metal Box factory, it is proposed that the site will undergo a renovation overhaul and is to be renamed the JCG Buildings.
Sevenoaks Modular, which currently employs around 100 people in Neath, anticipates it will double its workforce in the next 12 months in conjunction with its expansion to the 250,000 sq ft site. This move should allow it to go from producing 1,000 homes per year to more than 3,000 per year.
The company will acquire around half of the Metal Box factory site from Neath Port Talbot Council, which bought the factory in 201d9. It will move all its operations to the site once it has been refurbished as will its sister companies Hale Construction and Hale Homes, both part of the Hale Group.
Supported by the public and private sectors, the company will make a significant investment to regenerate the site. It will install a new roof, conduct extensive repairs on the main premises, build offices and install an eco-friendly wood-burning facility, complemented by cutting-edge energy storage units, which will recycle offcuts from the construction process and power the entire site.
In partnership with local education providers, it will also establish a training academy for young people looking to get a foothold in the construction industry, and open parts of the site up to use by the wider community.
The company anticipates all the work will be completed and the site fully operational within 12 months.
Charlotte Hale, director of Sevenoaks Modular, said: “This is about making a significant investment that will benefit the local economy, allow us to keep pace with demand and all while pushing an environmentally friendly agenda, both in terms of the style of construction we champion and in terms of how we will regenerate the site itself.
“The entire site will be self-sufficient in terms of the energy it will generate and require – it will be a fantastic case study for the benefits of the circular economy. Our aim is to sustainable redefine the buildings and restore the site to its former glory but in an innovative and eco-friendly way; we want it to be a landmark of the town again, which the community can be proud of, while also benefiting the local supply chain and keeping jobs and money in the region.”
Councillor Rob Jones, the Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council added: “We are delighted these well-known firms from the Hale group have seen the potential of this site by investing in a sizeable part of it.
“Our intent in purchasing the site is to develop a location which will not only assist in securing the future of local firms and employment but also in fostering opportunities for further growth and job creation.
“The decision by firms like these to relocate to this site will inspire confidence, helping us develop it as a centre for both offices, manufacturing and other uses which will help develop expansion and growth and create jobs for Neath Port Talbot.”