Housing minister Esther McVey has named Mark Farmer, author of the influential Modernise or Die report and CEO of Cast Consultancy, as ‘champion of modern methods of construction (MMC) in housebuilding’.
The news follows a series of announcements from the government, including a pledge to invest £30m in modular builder Ilke Homes, and plans to set up an MMC ‘centre of excellence’ in the north of England.
- Government invests £30m to ‘turbo-charge’ modular firm Ilke Homes
- Government wants MMC ‘silicon valley’ in the north
In Farmer’s new role, he will provide independent scrutiny and advice to the government on how to increase the use of MMC in homebuilding. He will also be charged with developing the ‘Construction Corridor’ in the North and promoting wider innovation in the sector.
He will also act as an ambassador overseas for the UK’s MMC activities in housebuilding, using international networks and trade opportunities to attract investment into an industry that the government claimed could be worth an estimated £40bn once mature.
McVey said: “I want to see modern methods of construction – the new gold standard of building – being used up and down the country to usher in a green housing revolution. That’s why it is such fantastic news that Mark Farmer has agreed to be our new MMC Champion – to really drive forward innovation, and to help the government deliver a new generation of green homes.”
Farmer added: “I am delighted to have been asked to carry out this new role. This is a really important time for the construction industry and there is an urgent need to rethink how we build homes, delivering better quality, improved safety, carbon reduction and an array of exciting new career opportunities.
“I look forward to working with both industry and government to make sure we now accelerate the uptake of modern methods of construction.”
Russell Pedley, co-founder at Assael Architecture who co-chairs the Urban Land Institute UK Residential Council with Mark Farmer, said: “Mark is the perfect ambassador for the sector and this welcome appointment shows ministers are really prioritising ways to build cleaner, better quality homes more quickly in factories.”