A social enterprise has revealed plans for a series of pop-up factories across North Wales to make carbon zero modular homes that will provide jobs for unemployed people.
The idea won the praise of North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones who visited Creating Enterprise’s first development, four one-bedroom bungalows for older people.
The bungalows next to the Morawelon estate in Holyhead were commissioned by the Isle of Anglesey County Council who collaborated closely on the design with Creating Enterprise, a subsidiary of the Cartrefi Conwy housing association.
The panels for the bungalows were made in a factory less than half a mile away and the police and crime commissioner also heard that the pioneering organisation already had orders for more than 100 of the revolutionary homes across the region.
The buildings use high performance insulation to make the homes completely draught free, cutting heat loss to create a home with minimal environmental impact.
The concept is flexible which means the system can also be used to build two-storey family homes with three, four or more bedrooms.
The venture is believed to be the first of its kind by a social enterprise in Wales.
It was set up in partnership with Norfolk-based Beattie Passive, one of the UK’s leading manufacturer of advanced passivhaus homes, eco-friendly buildings which can save residents up to 90 per cent in annual energy costs.
According to Creating Enterprise, they are planning to open new pop-up factories wherever they have a development, with the idea of providing job and training opportunities for unemployed people in those areas.
Mr Jones said: “I think it’s an excellent idea. As well as providing much-needed housing, they are creating work for unemployed people and tackling fuel poverty and combating homelessness.
“Everything about these homes is sustainable and provides great social value as well as boosting the local economy.
“It’s a total win win for everybody and also they’re an efficient and effective response to homelessness because a small unit can be built in a short space of time and it can be moved to different areas.
“I just hope that all the local authorities in North Wales take advantage of this efficient and effective method of building homes.”
Sharon Jones, the Business and Partnership Director at Creating Enterprise, said: ”The whole concept is coming to life
“Things are taking shape here and I’m thrilled with the way things are progressing.
“We’ve talked about this for so long and to now actually see people go on site and having tenants and unemployed people involved, and upskilling people has been great.
“What we’ve built into all of our programmes for here is that we will have four jobs that will be available from January for unemployed people and we will employ them on a 12 month contract.
“We will upskill them and provide them with employment and training opportunities and then we will support them to move to a permanent job at the end of it.
“We will then be able to create the opportunities again for more unemployed people whilst building high quality housing. It’s a virtuous circle really.”
Adrian Johnson, the Managing Director of Commercial Services at Cartrefi Conwy, said: “These homes on Anglesey will be the first of many. We’ve already got orders for more than 100 on our books from different parts of North Wales.
“We’ve been very fortunate that local authorities and housing associations are already buying into this concept.
“We’re creating zero carbon homes, using local labour and providing work for people who are the furthest from the employment market and upskilling them.
“We will be building a variety of properties, everything form from bungalows to homeless accommodation which is a one bedroom pod like accommodation called the Haus4One, to two, three and four bedroom houses as well. That is the joy of this concept; it’s so flexible.
“We have a base in Holyhead which we will continue with but if we now going to be building across North Wales we’re going to be building in different counties.
“The vision going forward is to have pop up factories wherever the development is so we can build them locally, working with local labour under the guidance and leadership of our trained operatives.”
Gwynne Jones, the Managing Director of Cartrefi Conwy, said: “The beauty of what Creating Enterprise has set out to do with their Employment Academy is that the money that any profit will be fed back into the academy.
“That in turn brings in unemployed and unskilled tenants back into the workplace and gives them job opportunities.
“We’re not just building houses; we’re changing people’s lives.”