A modular housing factory in Corby will produce a house every hour on a site the size of eleven football pitches.
Housebuilder TopHat has chosen the steel town with a proud manufacturing and logistics history as the venue for its Europe’s biggest house factory which will open in 2023.
The 650,000 sq ft facility will be the first occupied building on the new Magna Park development, itself one of the biggest warehouse sites in the UK.
The firm – of which 70 per cent is owned by investment bank Goldman Sachs – says that every home that rolls off the factory’s production lines will be energy-efficient and capable of achieving zero-emissions.
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Up to 1,000 skilled workers will be employed in the factory.
The announcement comes at a time when ministers and policymakers are throwing their support behind modern methods of construction (MMC) as a means of delivering much-needed, high-quality housing faster.
Magna Park is currently being built on the old Cowthick Plantation off the A43 at the Holiday Inn roundabout. TopHat’s existing factory in Derby currently produces 800 houses per year. The Corby site will produce 4,000 annually.
It will also be home to a training academy established in partnership with local colleges.
TopHat says it is at the forefront of a house-building revolution, applying robotics and lean manufacturing techniques to increase housing supply, improve quality, reduce costs and protect the environment. TopHat’s homes are low-carbon to build and ultra-low energy to run, significantly reducing living costs at a time of very high energy prices and into the future.
Advanced robotics create brick facades and ‘endless’ design possibilities and buyers can even customise their homes through TopHat’s Homes Configurator, much as they would configure a new car.
The new Corby facility will be the anchor tenant in the new Magna Park site being developed by GLP, the leading global logistics development manager, as part of a multi-million-pound investment in the site. Construction will begin later in the year, with the facility expected to be delivering its first homes by the end of 2023.
Jordan Rosenhaus, CEO and Founder of TopHat said: “TopHat’s new facility will increase our capacity to over 4,500 homes a year. Our homes are designed to be beautiful and green, being low-carbon to build and much cheaper to run.
"TopHat is playing a leading role in transforming home building in the UK, improving quality, reducing costs and protecting the environment. We are also delighted to be creating 1,000 new jobs in Corby supported by a major investment in training through the TopHat Academy.”
James Atkinson, Development Director of GLP said: “We are delighted that TopHat will be the anchor tenant for our new Magna Park in Corby bringing not only investment and jobs to the local community but also delivering innovative new homes which will be an important part of our future.”
International real estate advisor Savills advised TopHat on the acquisition. Charles Spicer, industrial and logistics director at Savills, adds: “We were delighted to have delivered this result for TopHat, which is the largest manufacturing deal to complete so far this year. TopHat are an innovative occupier in a new market sector, which is particularly exciting news for the wider industrial market.”