Q&A: ilke Homes heads up new modular housing trade association

A few months ago, our Executive Chairman, Dave Sheridan was appointed to lead a new trade body to promote the UK’s modular housing sector.

We sat down with Dave to find out more.

What is Make Modular?

The new trade body is an offshoot of an existing manufacturing trade association, Make. The body, launched with support from the Government’s national housing agency Homes England, will include ilke Homes, L&G Modular, Urban Splash, TopHat, and Laing O’Rourke as founder members.

Combined, the body’s members have plans to invest over £500 million to end the UK’s housing crisis, targeting to deliver over 75,000 modular homes by the end of the decade.

What are the body’s main priorities?

First and foremost, it is to accelerate and advance the MMC agenda through one strong voice rather than a series of disparate ones. This will help in our approach with policymakers and ministers, who hold some of the keys to the sector’s success.

For the sector to become a mainstream solution to many different policy areas – such as housing, climate, and employment – there’s an urgent need to industrialise it. By doing so, we can bring down the costs that act as a barrier to entry to many promising start-ups. Unlike traditional housebuilders, manufacturers such as ourselves have to commit large amounts of capital to get operations off the ground and running. If we bring these costs down, then we can significantly ramp up production.

Lastly, we also want to accelerate the delivery of much-needed housing across the UK, and making modular more mainstream is a way of doing so. If the sector is to take off though, it’s crucial that more land is unlocked for companies such as ourselves. Therefore, we’re going to look at exploring the different levers we can pull as a group, such as jointly bidding on developable land.

What are the next steps?

The body is still very much in its infancy, but we’re making fast and significant progress already.

In a few weeks, members will be attending a strategy away day, where we will agree on what are the next steps to be taken.