04 May 2018

Urban Splash takes bold steps forward with successful modular housing business

Urban Splash takes bold steps forward with successful modular housing business

Urban Splash has taken significant steps forward with its modular housing business. The award-winning regeneration firm, trading as Urban Splash Modular Ltd, has made two announcements which show important advancement of its modular construction company.

In its first statement the Manchester-based developer revealed that it has received financial backing from two prominent figures, helping to further develop its modular construction model and improve the company’s visibility.

The first investor of Urban Splash Modular is architect and television personality, George Clarke. As well as backing the company, Clarke also designed the new Fab Houses on Urban Splash’s Tyneside developmentin collaboration with TDO. These build on the House modular homes, creating affordable homes with high design credentials.

Speaking about the partnership, Clarke said: “I have known the talented Urban Splash team for many years and I’ve been working with them very closely on my new Fab House design at Smith’s Dock. We share a love and passion for great design and beautiful homes.

“The values and ambition of Urban Splash are second to none, so I had no hesitation investing in the company. I am very much looking forward to the exciting journey ahead as we embrace 21st century manufacturing technology to change the way we design, build and deliver better quality housing in Britain.”

The second collaborator to show his support is North West tech entrepreneur, and WeBuyAnyCar.com founder, Noel McKee, who has provided financial investment in Urban Splash’s modular operations.

As well as gaining funding and expertise from these high profile investors, Urban Splash has also acquired a factory, a key move in speeding up production. In an additional statement, the firm confirmed that it has agreed purchasing terms with SIG Building Systems, the off-site modular construction arm of SIG PLC.

Urban Splash has acquired certain assets from SIG, including its East Midlands based modular factory, 70 of its staff members and all the IP and patents of its modular housing system.

Fab House from Urban Splash

Fab House by Urban Splash

The company’s chairman, Tom Bloxham MBE, commented on the news: “We are pleased to have agreed terms on this acquisition with SIG. Urban Splash is committed to expanding its offsite construction capacity and this purchase is a way to vertically integrate our business and give us control of the production of our houses. It is a testament to our commitment to, and investment in, modular housing.”

For the past 10 years Urban Splash has moved from regeneration to offsite technology, using the latter to create its Moho development in Manchester and rolling out customisable Town Houses across the UK.

The Town Houses are a significant feature of the Smith’s Dock development in North Tyneside, which was recently praised by Dominic Raab at the recent Design Quality Conference.

Its Town House product, which will now be created in its newly acquired factory, was designed by architectural firm, shedkm, and sees customers buy space instead of rooms. The internal layout of these spaces is entirely customisable, meaning buyers can alter their homes to suit their own individual needs.

The company’s first Town House scheme saw 43 properties completed in New Islington, Manchester, in 2016. The development won the Graham Pye Award in the 2016 Housing Design Awards.

Two further sites are currently underway in Manchester and North Shields, bringing 94 new homes to the UK. A fourth site is in the pipeline in Birmingham, which has recently received planning permission and future schemes are also planned at sites across the country, including Merseyside.

Words: Jen Grimble Images: housebyurbansplash.co.uk/Peter Cook

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