Women in Social Housing Midlands visit LoCaL Homes factory

Published on 19 July 2023

Visit helped them learn more about modern methods of construction (MMC)

A group of women working in the social housing sector visited a factory in Walsall last week to learn about modern methods of construction (MMC). The event, organised by Women in Social Housing (WISH) Midlands, was an opportunity for participants to see how MMC is used to build high-quality, high-performance homes.

The visit included a tour of the LoCaL Homes factory floor, as well as presentations from Katie Gilmartin, WISH Board Co-Chair and Head of Business Development and Innovation at Platform Housing; Luke Boekestyn, Director of Burmor Construction and Eddie Hughes MP, MP for Walsall North and former Housing Minister.

The tour began with a presentation by Katie Gilmartin which discussed the benefits of MMC, including its speed, efficiency, and sustainability through her experience working with LoCaL Homes and Burmor Construction on Platform Housing’s latest development in Kirton, Lincolnshire. She also highlighted the importance of women in the MMC sector, which is still largely male-dominated.

After the presentation, participants networked over lunch before taking a tour of the LoCaL Homes factory. They saw how homes are built through offsite manufacturing, starting from raw materials all the way through to the externally finished, completed panel.

The factory visit was a great opportunity to learn more about the innovative technology of offsite manufacturing and understand how it can be used to build a variety of high-quality, high-performance homes.

Katie Gilmartin, Head of Business Development & Innovation at Platform Housing and Co-Chair of WISH Midlands said: “Innovation in construction is key to addressing the challenges of both the housing and climate crises. MMC offers a way to deliver the high quality, sustainable homes we need at scale quickly and efficiently.

We were so pleased LoCaL Homes provided the opportunity for WISH Midlands members to learn about offsite construction and its benefits. It was a unique chance for women in the social housing sector to network with one another and learn through a tour of an advanced manufacture factory here in the Midlands.”

Eddie Hughes, MP for Walsall North and former Housing Minister said: “MMC is a fantastic way to build more affordable and sustainable homes. I’m pleased that WISH Midlands is bringing this technology to the attention of women working in the social housing sector.”

Mike Doolan, Sales and Partnerships Manager at LoCaL Homes said: “We have had a brilliant discussion with members of WISH Midlands around our offsite timber frame solutions and how we strive to deliver more low carbon, cost effective, sustainable housing solutions across the UK.

“We have many projects now in progress supporting the Future Homes Standard and the drive towards net zero – it was great to have WISH members on-site to see the difference we are making in the sector first-hand.”

The event was well-received by the attendees, who said they learned a lot about MMC and how it can be used to build affordable low carbon housing for the social housing sector.

To find out more about Women in Social Housing, Midlands here.