Accord has announced that it is to move its LoCaL Homes offsite manufacturing closed-panel timber frame factory to a new location.
The housing and social care organisation will move from Beechdale to a new 56,000 sqft manufacturing facility located in Aldridge, Walsall, as part of its ambition to change the homebuilding delivery model.
“Building on our six years successful experience of offsite manufacturing, Accord’s vision is to increase production of our timber framed homes through our very successful LoCaL Homes business,” said Alan Yates, executive commercial director at Accord.
“We have ambitious plans for our new factory which is now under construction and which will enable us to increase annual production to over 1,000 homes per year. We are experiencing real growth in the business by working in partnership with other housing associations and local authorities across the country.
“Accord is investing over £1 million in developing the new factory including high-value manufacturing equipment, and we will be able to both meet future orders and create more jobs for local people too.”
The LoCaL Homes factory in Aldridge will go into production in Spring 2018 and in addition to manufacturing more homes, it will manufacture additional products and components.
Dr Chris Handy, chief executive of Accord, added: “With this amazing new factory facility, we will be able to commence manufacture of our own windows and our new “H-pod” which is an integrated kitchen and bathroom unit that will sit within the panelised structure. We will also be able to further develop our spoke factory concept, setting up other factories in partnership with others by offering a turnkey solution.
“This is a very important move for both Accord and the Black Country. Our investment has been enhanced by grant funding provided by the Black Country LEP and the Homes and Community Agency, and the whole project is supported by Walsall Council – demonstrating great partnership working.”
Mark Farmer, author of Modernise or Die, the seminal report on reform in the construction industry, said “Accord, through LoCaL Homes, has clearly shown itself to be a progressive housing association, successfully embracing the opportunity presented by modern methods of construction.
“This announcement of a new factory with the ability to step change production capacity as well as supporting a ‘hub and spoke’ regional network is a great reflection of their progress and puts them at the forefront of the general shift in industry delivery models that is starting to happen. It is also interesting to see LoCaLHomes increasing the premanufactured value of its current process through more use of consolidated and integrated components such as kitchens and bathrooms, further de-risking on site delivery. I am pleased to see Accord taking up the modernisation challenge in such as tangible way and I wish them every success for the future.”