A Chinese housebuilder has struck a GB£2.75 billion (US$3.4 billion) deal to open six factories in the UK, for the production of pre-fabricated modular homes.

China National Building Materials Group (CNBM) will operate a joint venture programme with the UK housing association, Your Housing Group, and the renewable energy firm, Welink, to build the factories.

The project’s target is to produce 25,000 homes a year, at a cost of around $500 per m2. The current average cost in the UK of approximately $1,235 per m2.

While large-volume modular-home initiatives are being pioneered in China, the modular units to be made in the UK will be based on designs from Spanish firm Barcelona Housing Systems.

The first factory site, in Liverpool, is expected to receive planning permission next month, while further sites are being sought across the UK.

Shou Peng, chairman of CNBM, said, "The key to unlocking the opportunities to address the housing needs of the UK is through the development and delivery of an industrialisation strategy at significant scale."

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