Government-backed prefab firm collapses

Inside the factory in Alfreton

Teneo has been appointed as administrator of House by Urban Splash and 160 people have reportedly been laid off at the factory in Alfreton, Derbyshire.

House by Urban Splash was part owned by Homes England, the government agency tasked accelerating house-building.

House by Urban Splash was set up by Manchester property developer Tom Bloxham as a prefabrication side business to his Urban Splash property firm after buying SIG’s modular housing factory in 2018. In 2019 Japanese prefab house-builder Sekisui House took a 35% equity stake. Other investors included used car dealer Noel McKee, founder of We Buy Any Car, and television presenter George Clarke, as well as Homes England.

House by Urban Splash’s 1,000th module craned into its Port Loop development in Birmingham last month.

Like most volumetric house-builders it was not profitable. Its latest accounts show losses exceeding revenues. Urban Splash House Holdings turned over £10.7m in the year to 30th September 2020 and made a pre-tax loss of £12.7m.

Joint administrator Adrian Berry said: “This appointment follows various operational issues relating to the factory in Alfreton. We will now look to stabilise the US House Group by providing a platform to complete certain developments and explore sale options for the factory and the other development sites. We would like to thank all employees and other key stakeholders for their continued support.”

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