West Midlands Combined Authority Advanced Manufacture in Construction Roadmap

03/25/21  / By Cast
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West Midlands Combined Authority Advanced Manufacture in Construction Roadmap - Cast
03/25/21  / By Cast
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5 Minute Read

West Midland Combined Authority (WMCA) set out a bold ambition to place Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) at the heart of their Local Industrial Strategy back in 2019.

The West Midlands has a strong industrial heritage, especially in automotive and related manufacturing but is now facing huge challenges in terms of new societal trends driving disruption in traditional employment and economic sectors. It recognised early that it can use the principle of encouraging and nurturing a high-productivity, technology-led construction sector as a central plank of its strategy.

With an expected population growth of 500,000 by 2030, the need for more high-quality homes has been seen as a reason for WMCA to not just drive new build housing delivery but to ensure that it does so in a way that creates new future-proof jobs and skills, decarbonising the economy, improving quality and encouraging inward investment from Government and the private sector.

20
individual organisations actively engaged in our core advisory and steering groups

30
high value academic and R&D bodies that could support the AMC strategy

75
construction supply chain organisations identified in WMCA region

The principle of Advanced Manufacture in Construction (AMC) is a term unique to WMCA. It is founded on the idea that not all forms of MMC are truly using technology and advanced manufacturing processes but are more about ‘building in a shed’. WMCA began developing the AMC Roadmap in 2019 and Cast have been supporting as a strategic advisor, as well as Cast CEO chairing an AMC steering Group of local stakeholders to drive the delivery of the roadmap.

Harnessing knowledge of the MMC market, links to econometric impacts and injecting different elements of primary research with Cast’s strategic partner, Harlow Consulting, the Cast team built a picture of the nature of the opportunity. The steering group comprised members of the West Midland’s nationally leading Higher & Further Education institutions, developers, manufacturers and housing associations alongside the Combined Authority’s housing and regeneration team.

The region has some unique points of difference, including the new National Brownfield Institute Campus being built at the University of Wolverhampton that will lead R&D into regeneration challenges, as well as being home to one of the most progressive colleges located in Dudley championing modern construction skills.

West Midlands Combined Authority Advanced Manufacture in Construction Roadmap

2,000
new homes annually that could be delivered through AMC

1,150
direct and supply chain jobs that would be created or supported by AMC delivery

40
point action plan setting the way forward over the next 10 years

The resultant roadmap is an important policy document that will hopefully chart a course for accelerated economic growth using AMC as a catalyst for change.  It sets our short, medium and long term actions for AMC adoption under the following headings:-

  • Accelerated Housing Delivery
  • Quality And Choice In New Homes
  • Advanced Manufacture Growth
  • Supply Chain Engagement
  • Skills Development
  • R&D Partnerships Between Government, Industry And Higher Education

The AMC roadmap is already underpinned by a progressive Single Commissioning Framework for public land which incentivises the use of Category 1 and 2 MMC and is also actively assessing the role of pre-manufactured value (PMV) in procurement of developer partners.

The document has already supported key conversations with central Government in relation to accessing funding support for manufacturing and skills investment and in supporting discussions with prospective private sector partners looking to bring AMC capability to the region.

“£90m: GVA boost that would be achieved through AMC delivery”

WMCA’s work was explicitly referenced in the 2021 Budget and the new Government MMC Taskforce announced in the same document will be based in Wolverhampton adding to the sense that the region is becoming a real centre of gravity for AMC / MMC activity.

Cast continue to support WMCA on a strategic basis and help make the Roadmap become reality.

 
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