Posted 19/02/2020

Minister for Business and Industry Visits Our Modular Housing Factory

Swan Housing Association welcomed MP Nadhim Zahawi, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Business and Industry), to its award-winning modular housing factory in Basildon, Essex on Thursday 6 February.

The Minister asked to visit the Swan's factory to find out more about the innovative approach to building more sustainable high-quality homes, more quickly.   

He learned how Swan reinvests every penny that is made through developing new homes, into providing more affordable homes and services for its residents in Essex and East London.

The team also explained how Swan has invested over £3m in their own factory, choosing Basildon for its proximity to Swan's largescale regeneration projects including Beechwood Village in Basildon, Purfleet-on-Thames and Queensway in Southend-on-Sea.

Nadhim Zahawi MP, enjoyed a fascinating tour of the factory, with Modular Housing Director Bill Marsh and Director of Business Development and Communications, Sam Wait. The Minister met the skilled team who precision engineer these stylish modular homes - first constructing the module itself, adding windows and doors, then kitchens, bathrooms, fixtures and fittings, before the modules are transported to site to be assembled into 570 stylish, custom built homes at Beechwood in Basildon, Essex.   

The group then travelled to the scheme site where the MP was impressed by Swan's newest 'Avenue' House type - which buyers can customise, just as you would a car - choosing both internal layout (adding bedrooms and extensions for example), internal finishes and external window colours and styles. These private and shared ownership homes are for sale with profit helping to fund the wider regeneration of the estate.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Business and Industry) Nadhim Zahawi said:

"Modular construction is helping provide more affordable homes in the UK and it was fascinating to learn more about this type of engineering at the Swan Housing Association factory.

"We are backing this type of development through our Construction Sector Deal and I am pleased to see how it is being used to help build new communities."

Bill Marsh, Swan's Managing Director for Modular Housing said: 

"It was a fantastic opportunity for us to show MP Nadhim Zahawi, Minister for Business and Industry, our new Avenue House type at Beechwood Village.  Having shown him exactly how we precision engineer these award-winning homes in Essex, in our own factory, he recognised both the quality of the final home and the efficiencies of the engineering process. The Minister was particularly positive about our investment in UK manufacturing and our hopes to grow our modular output to help meet housing need. The Minister's support for our efforts to invest and innovate in the UK construction industry is most welcome.

Swan is committed to delivering modern, high-quality homes that people want to live in, as well as creating sustainable, mixed tenure communities."

Swan is a registered social housing provider and is currently celebrating 25 years regenerating homes and communities. Opening its own modular factory in January 2017 and today Swan through its own in-house developer, NU living, continues to deliver modular homes including to the Beechwood development in Basildon. The first of these homes are now occupied. The factory is also currently producing homes for the Watts Grove development in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.