Top 10 homebuilder Keepmoat has announced it has become the latest strategic partner of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), with a commitment to build 4,000 additional new homes in the West Midlands. Keepmoat has also committed to aim to achieve net zero carbon emissions when building on brownfield sites and to increase their housebuilding by 50% across the West Midlands.
As a strategic partner, Keepmoat will build a range of homes across different tenure types in the West Midlands, creating hundreds of new jobs for local people and generating at least 250 new apprenticeships. At least 70% of the workforce needed to deliver the homes will be employed from within a 30-mile radius, while building supplies and materials will be purchased from West Midlands-based businesses wherever possible.
The memorandum of understanding between Keepmoat and WMCA also supports the Combined Authority’s wider aim of creating a fairer, greener and more prosperous West Midlands.
In March, a ground-breaking Deeper Devolution Deal was secured between WMCA and Central Government, giving WMCA wide-ranging new powers and additional funding in excess of £1.5bn to level up the West Midlands.
Charlotte Goode, Divisional Chair for Keepmoat West Midlands & East Midlands, commented: “We are delighted that we have been named as a strategic partner of the WMCA and that our work in the region continues to go from strength to strength. As part of our development work with WMCA, we’re already building a minimum of 1,000 new homes at price points that are accessible to people including first-time buyers.
“Building sustainable communities is also a core value at Keepmoat. Working as a strategic partner of WMCA, we are actively pursuing net zero carbon developments, with schemes incorporating climate adaptation measures that respond to the short and long-term impact of climate change. These zero carbon standards go above and beyond the 2025 Future Homes Standards and help contribute to WM2041.”
Keepmoat’s £360m Spirit Quarters development has so far delivered 979 new homes, with 275 of these allocated for first-time buyers. Supported by WMCA’s £1 million investment of devolved funding, this scheme continues to transform the former Wood End estate in Coventry, putting regeneration and place-making at the heart of a local community.
The homebuilder’s investment into the West Midlands will support the West Midlands target of delivering 215,000 new homes by 2031. In December last year, WMCA announced that the number of new homes being built in the region had surpassed pre-Covid levels, with 16,730 new additional homes delivered in the 12 months to March 2022 – 203 more than in the year up to March 2020.
The latest Strategic Partner MoU also bolsters the West Midlands’ Plan for Growth – a roadmap to develop eight specific industrial clusters where the region already has a competitive advantage.
Manufacturing of future housing is one of the West Midlands clusters, reflecting the expertise arising from millions of pounds of public investment in brownfield regeneration across the region, which is also home to the National Brownfield Institute in Wolverhampton.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority, said: “The West Midlands has been incredibly successful in recent years at regenerating old brownfield sites to build new, affordable homes – so much so that we are currently on track to meet our ambitious 2031 housing target.
“However now is the time to double down on our success – not ease off – and so I am delighted we have been able to sign this deal with Keepmoat that will see even more homes, jobs, and investment come to the region.
“Working together with Keepmoat we will breathe life into derelict brownfield sites, helping to protect our precious greenbelt while providing affordable, energy efficient, good quality homes and jobs for local people.”
Cllr Ian Courts, WMCA portfolio lead for housing and land and leader of Solihull Council, added: “Keepmoat is the latest Strategic Partner who we have signed an MoU with – progressive developers and investors who share our vision of a more sustainable West Midlands where people have the opportunity of a decent job and a good quality, affordable home.
“The commitment to use derelict industrial sites for eco-friendly, energy efficient housing is exactly the sort of future-looking approach our region needs. Not only does this help protect our precious greenbelt while creating high quality and sustainable communities, it also boosts the local economy and supports the wellbeing of residents.”
WMCA was founded in 2016 and is made up of 17 local councils to deliver an ambitious plan to drive inclusive economic growth across the West Midlands.
Keepmoat is a top 10 UK partnership homebuilder with a track record of delivering quality new homes across the UK at prices people can afford. To date, almost 70% of its current developments are on brownfield sites and over 70% of its customers are first-time buyers. In the last survey year, Keepmoat achieved HBF five star builder status, receiving a rating of at least 90% in the National New Homes Customer Satisfaction Survey.
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