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Walsall housing provider gets £1m grant to trial modular homes

The West Midlands social housing provider whg has been given a £1m research grant to trial the construction of modular homes in Walsall.

The grant, awarded by Innovate UK, will fund a two-year research and development project by whg in offsite housing construction and how it could help tackle the housing crisis.

The housing association aims to trial designs of modular homes, which will be pre-built in a factory on some of its unused sites in Walsall, before rolling them out more widely if successful.

It is hoped that the project will reveal the most effective types of Advanced Methods of Construction (AMC) and enable them to be further developed.

Whg’s chief executive Gary Fulford said: ‘AMC offers a great opportunity to tackle the housing crisis and help us reach our target of building around 3,000 new homes in the next five years.

‘These homes are quicker to build, quicker to install and a lot more energy-efficient, while still maintaining the high quality of our traditional new builds.

‘By collaborating with experts from across different industries we will be exploring the best ways to design, manufacture and assemble homes using these new building techniques.

‘This exciting project will see us work towards creating high performing houses that can address the rising demand for homes both locally and nationwide.’

The two-year research and development project will see whg working with numerous industry experts, including Birmingham City University, Energy Systems Catapult, Northmill Associates, Hadley Group and QM Systems.

The housing association has submitted plans to Walsall Council for several sites in the borough, including derelict garage sites.

It says that modular homes provide an ‘ideal’ opportunity for such sites to be brought back into residential use.

Subject to planning permission being given, whg hopes to have its first modular homes in place across the borough later this year.

Housing providers across the UK are now looking at modular housing as a way of boosting the country’s number of affordable homes.

NewStart recently travelled to Bristol to find out about Knowle West Media Centre’s We Can Make project, which is creating community-led housing in the form of modular homes in back gardens.

Photo Credit – whg

Chris Ogden
Digital News Reporter

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Tony Hutchinson
Tony Hutchinson
4 years ago

Interesting that WHG is looking at the market when Accord have been building modular homes in Walsall for some time.

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