The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) has approved £30 million in funding for 14 projects in Essex, Southend and Thurrock from the Getting Building Fund (GBF), including £4.53million for Swan’s second modular housing factory in Basildon.
The factory, like the other projects was chosen for being “shovel-ready” and able to help get the local economy back on its feet. As the country deals with its second lockdown and the future of the UK business environment remains uncertain, SELEP also believe that these projects will help the industries that are particularly affected by the lockdown caused by Covid-19.
Swan recently announced the acquisition of a 15-year lease of Basildon 117, a newly built 116,841 sq. ft. industrial unit, opposite their existing modular housing factory in Basildon, Essex. This funding will help accelerate the scaling up of production from Factory 2 to enable Swan, through its NU living development subsidiary, to manufacture steel framed modular housing. This second factory will operate alongside Swan’s existing Cross Laminated Timber volumetric system delivered in its current factory.
This expanded capacity will not only allow Swan to build high quality modular homes for its own secured development pipeline but also will position NU living, in time, to provide additional capacity to support Swan’s partners and other stakeholders in meeting the growing expectation from Government, for a proportion of modular housing to be incorporated in their own programmes. With both factories in full operation, NU living will eventually be capable of delivering over 1,000 modular homes each year.
In total the 14 projects benefiting from the funding will create and safeguard 2,633 jobs, unlock and deliver 5,381homes, support 4,103 learners, and unlock 129,377sq m of commercial space.
Chair of SELEP’s Opportunity South Essex federated board, Perry Glading said:
“We are doing all we can to support the wider Essex business community, and these funding decisions will make excellent use of disused commercial buildings to specifically help SMEs affected by COVID-19, as well as support start-ups with a new entrepreneur hub.
These projects will create new jobs and education facilities for the transport and logistics industry in the area, helping young people looking for work across the wider Thames Estuary area in this burgeoning and increasingly important sector for SELEP – particularly with the UK Transition on the horizon.”
John Synnuck, Swan’s Chief Executive Commented:
“The further expansion of our modular output will be accelerated by the Getting Building Funding awarded by the SELEP, helping us make a significant contribution to the Government’s Build Back Better initiative to help the recovery of the economy.
SELEP understood the impact Factory 2 will make – generating over 120 new jobs in Basildon and helping us move more quickly to being able to build over 1,000 homes a year when both factories are working at full capacity. That’s more high quality, affordable, homes for people who need them including opportunities to include modular homes at our large scale regenerations at Better Queensway in Southend, Purfleet-on- Thames and our Laindon Place Basildon, schemes – each of which will help transform the communities there, bringing not just new homes but also significant public realm, community infrastructure and sustainability and social value benefits to the both community and our local authority partners.”