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Legal & General Capital to build Europe’s biggest house factory in UK

British-headquartered financial services provider Legal & General Capital (LGC) will build the largest home-building factory in Europe in a bid to shake up the UK’s failing housing market.

LGC has announced the launch of its modular housing business, Legal & General Homes, which will seek to modernise the home building industry by providing modern, precision engineered factory manufactured houses through its new factory in the North of England.

Geoffrey McClure, senior relationship manager at latent defects insurance providers CRL, said: “For some time the UK government has been looking into the possibilities of offsite manufacturing as one solution to the UK’s housing supply crisis.

“There is a chronic production problem; we simply don't supply enough houses to meet the demand by customers, both young and old. The UK has an annual output of around 130,000 homes, with a requirement for 250,000. Legal & General is aiming to build thousands of modular houses to help tackle this long term problem.

“The theoretical benefits of offsite manufacturing are well rehearsed. Prefabrication ought to allow the construction industry to create warmer buildings more quickly and for less money than traditional methods.”

Legal & General Homes has signed a long-term lease with Logicor on a 550,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Sherburn-in-Elmet, 15 miles east of Leeds, representing the largest modular homes construction factory in the world.

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Initially employing 400 to 500 local people, it expects to deliver its first houses from the factory in June. The customer response to our modular housing has been extremely positive from a wide range of developers.

Paul Stanworth, Managing Director of Legal & General Capital, said: “Sustainable, durable modern materials and proven technology will enable us to create high-quality homes meeting a wide range of housing needs and help solve the UK’s housing crisis.

“Modern modular housing in the UK has so far been restricted to the top end of the market: the scale of our Sherburn facility will enable many more people to benefit from new, environmentally-friendly construction techniques which have already become mainstream in Europe.”

A flexible, cost-effective solution, it will produce high quality homes tailored to meet customers’ designs and needs, ranging from 20-storey apartment blocks to rows of terraced, semi-detached and detached houses.

The technology has been proven right across Europe, including countries such as Austria, Germany and Scandinavia where off-site manufacturing of housing is increasingly common place. Time spent building on site will be reduced by more than 70%, compared to traditional techniques, manufacturing sections in advance and delivering them to the site to be installed.

Tom Ground, Chief Executive of Legal & General Homes, added: “Legal & General Homes aims to deliver a new solution to the problems we face in the UK, addressing the shortage of suitable, affordable and sustainable housing by manufacturing higher quality, energy efficient, lower cost housing.”

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