As part of Liverpool city region’s £8bn recovery plan, the Modern Methods of Construction programme will deliver jobs, skills and thousands of new homes. Tony McDonough reports
More than 6,500 factory-built homes are planned for the Liverpool city region over the next 10 years as part of a £9bn economic recovery plan.
And the Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) programme being pioneered by the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), Peel L&P and the Liverpool City Region Combined authority will also see the retrofitting of 10,000 existing homes.
MMC covers a wide range of new techniques in both off-site and on-site construction. It offers an alternative to traditional forms of housebuilding. Its main advantages are speed and quality of build as well as a focus on creating zero carbon homes.
In the last few days the Liverpool City Region All Party Parliamentary Group has given its backing to the project in a letter to Housing Minister Chris Pincher. They say it supports the Government’s ambitions to drive higher design and production quality for housing.
The MMC programme will initially be delivered across all six boroughs within the Liverpool city region and proposals are currently being developed for a location for a physical Centre of Excellence for Modern Methods of Construction. Peel L&P’s Wirral Waters, on the banks of the River Mersey, will see new homes created using MMC.
Also involved in the project is the Construction Innovation Hub as well as six registered social landlords, including Liverpool-based Torus Group.
Frank Rogers, chief executive of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said: “The Modern Methods of Construction programme is one of the exciting projects included in our £9bn economic recovery plan for the city region as we recover from the impact of COVID-19.
“Developing and using modern manufacturing techniques will play a key role in improving and increasing our housing stock, and in our drive to reach net zero carbon. It’s great to see that the Liverpool City Region All Party Parliamentary Group are backing this potentially transformational project.”
The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK, and was established to prove innovative manufacturing processes and technologies in partnership with industry, academia and other institutions.
Dr Clive Hickman, chief executive of the MTC, added: “It was excellent to receive such a public vote of support and backing from the Liverpool City Region All Party Parliamentary Group.
“With the crisis that is engulfing the sector, we will show the Government that this project will not only provide the high-quality housing required across the region, but will also support the long-term economic recovery post-COVID.
“By embedding Modern Methods of Construction to increase productivity, we are ensuring a strong supply of employment opportunities across the region as well as lowering energy and carbon use and halving delivery times. Through this pioneering partnership, we can secure the best long-term outcome for the sector and our society.”
Steven Underwood, chief executive of Peel L&P, also said, “This programme will deliver substantial benefits that will be felt locally, regionally, and nationally. Direct access to the marketplace for supply chains will incentivise the investment needed to rapidly scale-up the development and application of MMC.”