Boutique Modern expands in Newhaven with new factory
Construction company Boutique Modern will start building a new factory in Newhaven this year which will create more than 35 further jobs at the business and double its capacity.
The BCorp modular housing company was given the green light by Lewes District Council to build the factory in Avis Way and plans to move in at the end of this year.
The business specialises in delivering sustainable homes for affordable and social housing schemes in the South East, helping the most vulnerable people in society to find a place they can call home.
Dick Shone, managing director at Boutique Modern, said: “This is an exciting new chapter for Boutique Modern, which will mean more homes and jobs for local people.
“This will prepare us for the next exciting phase when we open satellite factories in other areas with housing demand. Each new factory will create upwards of 100 new jobs and generate more than £20m for the local economy per year, per facility.
“It’s our belief that social and affordable housing should be beautifully designed and sustainable and it’s a privilege for us to be able to make a difference.”
The factory has been designed by award-winning Brighton architects Morgan Carn and will feature a two-storey industrial building to be used to manufacture offsite modular housing units.
Boutique Modern currently employs more than 70 people but has outgrown its current site in Beach Road. The new factory will take its headcount to more than 100 employees.
The empty disused site in Avis Way was previously occupied by a large workshop, store and office building that was demolished in 2021 and the space is currently used by Boutique Modern for the temporary storage of off-site housing modules.
When the new factory opens at the end of this year, it will enable the business to operate two manufacturing lines, which will provide more flexibility in terms of what it manufactures and increase control over delivery speed to clients. At full capacity the factory will be capable of producing up to 125 houses or 250 flats per year, whilst maintaining flexibility in its output to manage market peaks and troughs.
“The Boutique Modern business model has been developed over more than 10 years to allow us to open satellite factories in locations where there is housing demand.
“Instead of growing one large factory capable of producing thousands of homes in a single location, the Avis Way Factory will allow us the opportunity to pilot setting up in a new facility with our existing processes and systems before we expand to other sites, thereby enabling the sustainable growth of our business.”
The new factory will feature solar panels to provide on-site power generation for lighting and power tools, feeding energy back into the grid when not required on site.
It will also include electric vehicle charging points and more than 30 covered cycle spaces for employees to cycle to work, together with trees and plants to improve the look of the site.
Councillor Zoe Nicholson, leader of Lewes District Council, said: “I’ve placed a strong focus on community wealth building at the council, so to see a local contractor we work with growing so dynamically is really exciting and welcome news.
“I recall being at the opening of the homes in Fort Road, Newhaven, the first modular project undertaken by Boutique Modern for Lewes District Council.
“It was a proud moment seeing new council housing opened that is highly sustainable and of such high quality. There is so much good news coming out of Newhaven and plenty still to come.”
Newhaven Enterprise Zone programme director Corinne Day said: “We are so happy Boutique Modern is expanding into a new site in the town.
“We cannot wait to cheer on the business as it continues on its exciting journey and it’s fantastic news it will create even more jobs for local people, both here in the town and later on in other sites across the region.”
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