Bristol partnership secures £3m to unlock housing innovation

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Bristol is set to benefit from a £3million grant to help explore innovative housing solutions in the city.

By trialling new methods of house building, the project aims to improve the speed, cost and social value of nearly £78m of housing set to be built in the city over the next five years.

Using traditional methods, it has not been possible to provide enough homes to tackle the housing crisis.

This new project, funded by Innovate UK, aims to unlock the current barriers, and enable the council and its partners to examine how using Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) can help to cut the costs of housing production and increase the speed of delivery.

The project is a partnership between Bristol City Council, the Bristol Housing Festival, YTKO, the British Research Establishment Group (BRE) and nine leading modular housing companies.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: 

“Building enough affordable housing is one of the biggest challenges we face across the country, and as a city we are not afraid to explore innovative ways of delivering better value, high quality, homes.

This project is only possible thanks to the collaboration of our many partners across the housing sector. I would like to thank everyone who played a part in securing this funding, and I am looking forward to seeing what exciting developments come forward as a result.”

Bristol City Council is increasingly being seen as a national leader in the use of MMC housing solutions to meet the city’s housing demands. As part of this project, the council will be creating jobs for local people, working with communities, reducing the environmental impact of MMC housing and minimising construction waste.

Phil Stott, Head of Construction and Sustainability at YTKO, said: 

“Having the opportunity to lead such an exciting and innovative partnership is very exciting for YTKO. We’ve been delivering construction projects in Bristol for years and working with the council to unlock MMC innovation is an important step to overcoming the UK housing crisis. Jobs for local people, lower energy costs, quicker builds and more affordable housing are all possible thanks to this funding from Innovate UK.”

The Enabling Housing Innovation for Inclusive Growth project will run for 18 months across nine developments in the city. The project will also deliver a digital toolbox, which other local authorities can use, to help improve the speed of housing delivery across the country.

Jez Sweetland, Project Director, Bristol Housing Festival, said: 

“This project has huge potential– working with a range of both national and local partners and exploring nine different housing methodologies – all with an ambition to help Bristol tackle its housing challenge. As Bristol builds and learns so it will share the results and process with others to help deliver much needed systemic change.”