Urban Splash swoops for loss-making SIG division

Regeneration company Urban Splash has made two significant announcements to its modular housing business – Urban Splash Modular.

The company, which is headquartered in Manchester but operates across England, has agreed terms to acquire certain trade and assets of SIG Building Systems, the modular offsite construction business of SIG plc.

The acquisition includes SIG’s modular factory in the East Midlands, all the IP and patents of its modular housing system and around 70 staff.

A second announcement sees two prominent figures join the Urban Splash Modular business – as both architect and Channel 4 presenter George Clarke and North West tech entrepreneur and founder of WeBuyAnyCar.com, Noel McKee announce their investment in Urban Splash modular operations.

Urban Splash chairman Tom Bloxham said: “We are pleased to have agreed terms on this acquisition with SIG; Urban Splash is committed to expanding its offsite construction capacity and this purchase is a way to vertically integrate our business and give us control of the production of our Houses. It is a testament to our commitment to, and investment in, modular housing.

“SIG has been a great company to work with, but as the factory gradually filled up with Urban Splash product, it became clear to all that its natural home was with Urban Splash. We will continue to work with SIG’s excellent supply chain and welcome our great new colleagues from SIG into the Urban Splash team.

“We are committed to delivering these homes, because we know that the accelerated use of modular will help give this country more, much-needed homes and will help meet Government aspirations and targets.”

Urban Splash has been developing its modular portfolio for the past 10 years. The company’s first foray using offsite technology was at its Moho development in Manchester’s Castlefield, since its initial development of the House concept in 2012 however – it has turned its attentions to the rollout of its customisable Town House.
The first Town House scheme was completed in New Islington in Manchester in 2016, with two further sites underway in Manchester and North Shields; a fourth site in Birmingham has also received planning permission.

As well as acquiring the House factory, the company has brought in the knowledge and expertise of investors George and Noel to further extend its modular reach.

Bloxham continued: “I have known and admired George and Noel for a number of years; they are both great entrepreneurs and it’s fantastic they have come on board as investors in and advisors to our modular housing business.

“Noel disrupted the used car market with his invention of WeBuyAnyCar.com; in housing, we’re challenging another traditional market – new homes – so Noel’s wealth of knowledge is crucial for us as we look to move innovation forward in this sector.

“George will give us a brilliant design counsel; he shares our passion for the way architecture can transform our everyday lives and believes that houses are the single most important pieces of architecture – and that everyone has the right to a decent, well-designed home.

“His award-winning housing projects are testimony to his love for design quality and innovation. George’s fascination with housing combined with a grasp of public tastes, architecture trends and marketing making him a great asset to the Urban Splash House team.”

Clarke said:“I have known the talented Urban Splash team for many years and I’ve been working with them very closely on my new Fab House design at Smith’s Dock in North Shields.

“We share a love and passion for great design and beautiful homes.

“The values and ambition of Urban Splash are second to none, so I had no hesitation investing in the company. I am very much looking forward to the exciting journey ahead as we embrace 21st century manufacturing technology to change the way we design, build and deliver better quality housing in Britain.”

McKee added: “Urban Splash’s timing and approach to tackling the housing shortage is a true game changer.”