12 Apr 2021

Liverpool City Region MMC project receives support from Liverpool City Region Parliamentary Group

The Manufacturing Technology Centre’s work with the Liverpool City Region on a Modern Methods of Construction programme has received recognition and support from the Liverpool City Region All Party Parliamentary Group.

With the number of challenges currently facing the housing sector, the Modern Methods of Construction Programme aims to support the Government’s ambition to drive higher design and production quality for housing by accelerating the uptake of digital and manufacturing-led construction. The programme was highlighted in a letter from the parliamentary group to Housing Minister Chris Pincher MP.

Already working with six Registered Social Landlords (RSLs), the programme will develop cutting edge technology to retro-fit existing homes and build new homes using new, state-of-the-art, methods of construction. It is being developed in a collaboration between the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, the Manufacturing Technology Centre, the Construction Innovation Hub, Torus Group, Peel L&P, housing associations, and industry partners.

The programme aims to build more than 6,500 new homes and retro-fit 10,000 homes over the next 10 years, bringing them up to at least Energy Performance Certificate “C” rating for energy efficiency, as part of a post-COVID recovery stimulus package, while developing and upskilling the workforce by applying new methods and systems of refurbishments and construction.

Frank Rogers, chief executive of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said: “The Modern Methods of Construction programme is one of the exciting projects included in our £9 billion economic recovery plan for the city region as we recover from the impact of COVID-19. Developing and using modern manufacturing techniques will play a key role in improving and increasing our housing stock, and in our drive to reach net zero carbon.  It’s great to see that the Liverpool City Region All Party Parliamentary Group are backing this potentially transformational project.”

Dr Clive Hickman, chief executive of the MTC praised the APPG’s unwavering support for the project and said, “It was excellent to receive such a public vote of support and backing from the Liverpool City Region All Party Parliamentary Group. With the crisis that is engulfing the sector, we will show the Government that this project will not only provide the high-quality housing required across the region, but will also support the long-term economic recovery post-COVID.

“By embedding Modern Methods of Construction to increase productivity, we are ensuring a strong supply of employment opportunities across the region as well as lowering energy and carbon use and halving delivery times. Through this pioneering partnership, we can secure the best long-term outcome for the sector and our society.”

Steven Underwood, chief executive of Peel L&P, said, “We welcome the continued support of the Liverpool City Region All Party Parliamentary Group in relation to the Modern Methods of Construction Programme. This programme will deliver substantial benefits that will be felt locally, regionally, and nationally. Direct access to the marketplace for supply chains will incentivise the investment needed to rapidly scale-up the development and application of MMC.”

He added, “Barriers to entry will be reduced and low risk solutions for re-skilling the workforce, including apprenticeships, will be provided – ensuring both increases in productivity and opportunities for sustainable job creation. Along with the accelerated adoption of new methods of construction and the delivery of new homes, the skills and knowledge created will also support other key sectors such as maritime and energy. The team at Peel L&P and Wirral Waters are looking forward to working with partners to deliver these transformational projects and bring much needed jobs and training opportunities to the area.”

Torus Group CEO, Steve Coffey, said, “Our mission of ‘growing stronger communities’ goes beyond providing great homes. It means supporting sustainable communities by tackling today’s big issues like fuel poverty and driving a low carbon future.

“Partnering with the Combined Authority and the Manufacturing Technology Centre to test and learn new and different methods for the delivery of our asset improvement and development programmes will not only improve the efficiency of our homes, it could very well transform our operational efficiency, improve the lives of our tenants and stimulate the local construction sector – an integral part of Building Back Better.”

The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK, and was established to prove innovative manufacturing processes and technologies in an agile environment in partnership with industry, academia and other institutions. Housing some of the most advanced manufacturing equipment in the world, and with facilities in Coventry and the Liverpool City Region, the MTC provides a high quality environment for the development and demonstration of new technologies on an industrial scale, supporting skills, productivity and growth across the UK manufacturing industry.