The announcement comes as Homes England, the government’s housing agency, has confirmed funding deals with six local authorities aimed at accelerating the construction of more than 2,000 homes across the country.
The deals are worth £38.2m, and come from the government’s £350m ‘local authority accelerated construction’ programme, which encourages the use of MMC.
McVey said the benefits of MMC were clear, with properties able to be built in a factory over a week and then assembled on site in a day. She also noted that these homes often have fewer defects and lower housing bills.
She added: “To build all these new homes we will need a brand-new workforce to make these homes offsite. Skilled, high quality jobs, for life.
“The north of England has the potential to be the construction capital of the country for this new technology, and we need to fully embrace this.”
The government says it will “encourage” businesses to link up with academics across the north, to share expertise and work together in order to develop this centre for excellence.
Fundamentally readdress home building
Mark Farmer, chair of the MMC Working Group, said the UK has the opportunity to become a “true world leader” in the advanced manufacturing of new homes.
He continued: “These improvements will only be achieved if we fundamentally readdress the way we design and deliver new homes.
“As part of achieving this aim, the establishment of a centre of excellence for modern methods of construction in the north of England will leverage what is already a growing part of the regional economy.”