Boutique Modern expands in Newhaven with new factory

B-Corp modular housing company Boutique Modern will start building a new factory in Newhaven this year which will create more than 35 further jobs and double business capacity.

The firm 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.

Boutique Modern 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. 

Managing director Dick Shone 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 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 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 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.

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