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United Welsh brings timber frame factory to Caerphilly

The United Welsh Group is developing a factory in the heart of Caerphilly to build timber frame, low carbon homes.

Due to open this autumn, the factory will manufacture high quality, sustainable timber frame structures complete with factory fitted insulation and windows to build up to 250 low carbon homes a year.

With over £2m of investment from Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme, the factory will be delivered by Celtic Offsite, a new social enterprise within the Caerphilly-based United Welsh Group.

Using over 28,000 sq. ft of manufacturing facilities, Celtic Offsite will provide affordable housing for contractors and developers using a Welsh supply chain, including Welsh timber and local partners.

There will also be a training suite on site to provide skills development and apprenticeships for green construction jobs, training the next generation of workers to deliver more energy efficient homes.

Richard Mann, deputy chief executive and director of operations for United Welsh Group said:

‘The Welsh Government Innovative Housing Programme funding has been vital in enabling us to develop the new Celtic Offsite factory in Caerphilly.

‘The factory will create community benefits at every stage of production, designed on the principles of developing the foundational economy and doing better by working together.

‘It will support the United Welsh Group, Local Authorities and other partners to realise our shared ambitions of achieving net zero carbon through the provision of new energy efficient homes, while supporting Welsh business growth and tackling fuel poverty.’

‘All profits will be reinvested into our social purpose of providing more affordable homes and community services; including our decarbonisation programme to become carbon neutral by 2035.’

The factory opening will create up to 28 new jobs, with investment planned for green construction training opportunities for local people year on year.

The Celtic Offsite factory will be located at Pontygwindy Industrial Estate near Caerphilly town centre.

The project is a positive step in Welsh Government’s commitment to build more high quality homes in factories in Wales.

Climate change minister Julie James said:

‘This is a very exciting project that we are very proud to have been able to support.

‘We have already started work on implementing our manifesto commitment to develop a timber industrial strategy and create a stronger wood economy for Wales. Eighty per cent of the timber used in the UK is imported, and only 4 per cent of the 1.5 million tonnes of harvested timber is processed to be used as construction-grade timber in Wales.

‘There’s a real opportunity for timber processors and manufacturers in Wales to contribute to this wood economy, creating new jobs in rural Wales as well as building an innovative supply chain for high value added, longer life uses.’

Councillor Eluned Stenner, Caerphilly Council cabinet member for customer, performance and enterprise, said:

‘We’ve had a strong partnership with United Welsh for many years and are extremely excited about this news.  Its aims cut across a number of our key priorities as a council; including lowering carbon emissions, helping us further develop a “greener Caerphilly” stimulating our local economy, reducing energy costs and helping to meet the demand for housing in the county borough.’

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