In the midst of a “housing crisis”, the Government has imposed higher building targets on Local Authorities and called for a more innovative approach to solving Britain’s housing shortage. Modern methods of construction such as modular housing have therefore been tipped as the future for the industry due to the speed of delivery and cost effective nature.
Berkeley Group has been active in the South East residential development sector for many years and capitalising on the opportunity to expand into the manufacturing sector, has formed Berkeley Modular, with a new production capacity in Ebbsfleet Garden City set to open. The new company will produce a volumetric modular housing solution, creating high-quality homes which are fantastic to live in and deliver an improved correlation between design and performance.
When it comes to doing business, Kent has always stood out above other locations due to its geographical convenience to Berkeley Group development sites; many of which are located around London and the South East. Rather than seek out other premises and facilities elsewhere in the UK, Berkeley Group has carefully considered where it should make its significant investment and the facility on Northfleet Embankment East was deemed the ideal location to deliver the high performing housing products. The 150,000 sq ft manufacturing facility and a 15,500 sq ft office building will sit on a ten-acre site within the county’s North Kent Enterprise Zone and eventually produce up to 1,000 properties a year.
Kent has an abundance of highly skilled talent in the manufacturing and construction sector which meant Berkeley Modular were able to take full advantage of this talent pool. With plans to create a number of jobs in the area and invest in training and development and apprenticeship schemes, the venture will have a positive impact on the local economy.
“We worked closely with the Locate in Kent Skills Advisor to progress our training and development frameworks and to select the right sort of partners in the Kent geography to support programmes, and to support some of our recruitment work.”
So what is in store for this innovative business? With a strong business plan and a hunger to grow, Berkeley Modular have put a big focus of creating new, permanent jobs in the area. In time, they envisage to employ around 250 people once fully operational. The initial recruitment plans have been based on around 145 people ahead of production starting in January 2020.