"Weve responded innovatively during this period, enabling our sales colleagues to work effectively from home."
Chairman Tom Bloxham MBE
House by Urban Splash’s modular factory will reopen from today, safely commencing operations. The innovative company is bringing the very first factory-built homes to the new town of Northstowe, Cambridgeshire later this year.
The company took an early stance in March, announcing the immediate closure of its sites, sales offices and factory amidst the UK lockdown – citing the safety of its colleagues, suppliers and subcontractors as a business priority.
Now, with robust measures in place, encouragement from the Government, and a call to developers from Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, Urban Splash will welcome its colleagues back from furlough in a phased approach – with House by Urban Splash factory colleagues, and construction sites returning to work from today (4th May). Strict disciplines have been introduced to meet the strategies set out within the Government COVID-19 Construction Sector guidelines.
Chairman Tom Bloxham MBE explained: “The health and wellbeing of our team, suppliers and subcontractors has been the driver in every decision we’ve made this past month. And now, following the latest Construction Leadership Council guidelines, we are pleased to recommence construction, while continuing to keep our hard working colleagues safe.
“We have taken the time to brief colleagues in-depth on the specific processes at each site, allowing them to adhere to robust new health and safety measures, new ways of working and respect social distancing guidelines; with these in place, we are confident that we can protect our workforce and will continue to monitor the guidelines issued by the Government moving forward.”
Urban Splash also confirmed that non-site colleagues will continue to work remotely from home, and that the five shareholding directors had opted to take a 30% reduction in pay while the lockdown continues and other colleagues remain on furlough.
Now, the company is keen to get building again to continue to create much needed homes for customers – with buyers still reserving in spite of the lockdown. Customers have been able to view Urban Splash properties across the country via a new virtual viewings platform which allows them to take tours of new homes from afar - a bespoke service that will also be available to potential purchasers at Northstowe once the new homes are revealed to the public for the first time later this year.
House by Urban Splash creates innovative, architect-designed homes using modern methods of construction; it is owned by award winning property developer Urban Splash in partnership with Sekisui House, Japan’s largest housebuilder, and Homes England, the government’s housing agency. Other shareholders include architect and TV presenter George Clarke, and We Buy Any Car founder and tech entrepreneur Noel McKee.
Tom continues: “We’ve responded innovatively during this period, enabling our sales colleagues to work effectively from home, speaking with lots of customers each day and taking reservations – albeit at a slower rate than usual.
“We’ve continued to win awards for our work and we now want to safely restart operations to create new neighbourhoods and much needed new homes.”
Work will continue to prepare for the delivery of the new homes at the new urban village of Inholm, Northstowe later this year. Town House is the first of these being created at Inholm and is a light and spacious, customisable family home.
Sites on which Urban Splash is creating homes and workspace in other regions include New Islington and Avro in Manchester, Port Loop in Birmingham, Wirral Waters in Merseyside, Melville at Royal William Yard in Plymouth and Park Hill in Sheffield; thousands of homes are being created on these sites, with purchasers expecting to move into some of them during 2020. Despite the lockdown, the company has also acquired new developments this past month – including a 25-acre site – and is expected to make further announcements on the location of those over the summer.