A major joint venture between Japan’s biggest housebuilder, the UK government and developer Urban Splash is set to deliver thousands of modular homes across the UK
Sekisui House, which is one of the world’s biggest housebuilders and a modular housing pioneer, is taking part in a £55 million investment in Urban Splash’s modular arm, House, in a deal announced this morning (14 May)
The venture has been described as ‘a significant boost’ to the UK’s modular housing industry which will speed up delivery of homes built using modern methods of construction (MMC).
Sekisui House has invested £22 million of new equity, with £30 million of equity and debt funding coming from the government’s Home Building Fund, administered through Homes England.
Noel McKee, founder of car dealer We Buy Any Car, has also made a sizeable investment in the new partnership and will take an incremental 5 per cent stake.
Sekisui House president Yoshihiro Nakai said the deal would help create ‘outstanding communities’ in the UK and building high-quality homes with short build times was one of the company’s ‘great strengths’.
He added: ‘Our technology and know-how can help resolve pressing social issues in the UK, and I want to see us play our part effective immediately. These operations can also help bring vitality to UK regions, and we will work to make the strongest connections with the local communities.’
Housing minister Kit Malthouse welcomed the arrival of the firm, saying: ‘Sekisui House bring with them a proven track record in harnessing the modern methods of construction that are transforming home-building.
‘Backed by government investment, today’s announcement will support our urgent mission to deliver more, better and faster home construction to ensure a new generation can realise the dream of home ownership.’
Urban Splash chairman Tom Bloxham said the developer had chosen Sekisui House because of its ‘unrivalled global experience in modular construction’ and shared values and philosophy that ‘we are making homes not units’.
He added: ‘We are incredibly excited about the accelerated production of much-needed homes and evolving traditional practices as we embrace the benefits of innovative offsite construction.’
Earlier this year Liverpool and London-based practice ShedKM unveiled its proposals for Urban Splash’s modular ‘kit of parts’ scheme in Manchester, due for completion this summer.