O’Rourke housing factory gets £22m grant

Vince Cable MP, Jagjeet Singh Panesar and Ray O'Rourke
Vince Cable MP, Jagjeet Singh Panesar and Ray O’Rourke

The Government has today awarded a £22.1 million grant to a consortium led by construction company, Laing O’Rourke, that will create jobs and boost the building trades .

Administered by Finance Birmingham, the four year grant is towards a £104 million project for the advanced manufacturing of homes, buildings and infrastructure, supporting research and development, investment in new manufacturing facilities and training.

The project work streams will not only address research into modular design and manufacturing, but will also cover structured training initiatives, providing the existing workforce and new recruits with skills around digital engineering, the manufacturing process and installation.

This grant comes at a critical time for the construction and engineering sector and its supply chain,” says Stephen Harley, Director of Advanced Manufacturing at Laing O’Rourke.

We estimate that it will create over 600 new, direct jobs and as many as 1,000 across the diverse supply chain. Our consortium of 22 partners integrates the design, manufacturing and assembly construction supply chain with leading research institutions to create a new platform for collaborative innovation.

The investment is potentially great news for our ability to help address the UK’s housing capacity gap of some 60,000 to 100,000 homes annually, with advanced off-site manufacturing and digital engineering speeding up the provision of affordable, high quality accommodation,” adds Stephen Trusler, Laing O’Rourke’s Accommodation Sector Leader.

It will also contribute to achieving the UK Government’s strategy for construction targets of 33% lower costs, 50% faster delivery, lower emissions and improvement in exports.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “To have any chance of meeting the demand for affordable homes, the industry must embrace the latest house building technologies and techniques. That’s why I’m delighted to grant £22.1 million worth of funding to help the sector do just that.

Whether through smart digital design or off-site manufacturing, it’s excellent to see firms like Laing O’Rourke leading by example and laying the foundations for growth.”