MP visits Donaldson Offsite factory

Robert Courts, the Member of Parliament for Witney, visited the Donaldson Timber Systems factory on Friday (10 November) to see first-hand the benefits of offsite timber construction.

During the visit, Mr. Courts was given a presentation and tour of the site by CTI Chairman Alex Goodfellow and Donaldson Manufacturing Director Frank O’Reilly, who outlined the crucial role of timber frame MMC in tackling the housing crisis.

At Donaldson Timber Systems, homes are manufactured offsite using state-of-the-art machines which guarantee both factory consistency and minimal maintenance post-build. Using machines also requires less labour than traditional construction methods and will prove crucial in plugging skills gaps in the economy.

In addition, using timber, Donaldson’s produces an abundance of homes around the UK at a significantly lower carbon cost compared to steel and concrete.

Timber construction has been recognised as essential to achieving net zero 2050, with the Government set to launch its Timber in Construction Policy Roadmap later this month.

MP for Witney, Robert Courts, said:

“I was delighted to visit the Donaldson Timber Systems factory on Friday, where I saw the wide array of environmental and economic benefits of building timber frame homes and buildings offsite.

“Timber construction is set for a boom in the coming years, with the Government releasing its Timber in Construction Policy Roadmap later this month.

“I am pleased to see Witney at the heart of the UK’s timber revolution, with Donaldson Offsite leading the way in low-carbon offsite housing construction.

“I look forward to engaging with the industry further over the coming months through the APPG for Timber Industries in Parliament”.

Donaldson Offsite CEO, Alex Goodfellow, said:

“We would like to thank Mr Courts for visiting our Witney factory – It is great to see an MP engage with manufacturing businesses investing in ways to deliver homes fit for the future.

“Timber is a crucial component of the net zero agenda, with the Climate Change Committee (CCC) recommending greater use of timber in construction to reduce built environment emissions.

“Not only is timber MMC low carbon, but it is also high quality, offering ‘fit and forget’ installation and a solution to the chronic labour shortages seen in construction.

“To expand our industry and decarbonise construction, the government must find a way of increasing demand for timber through embodied carbon regulation and market incentives.

“It was great to discuss timbers benefits and what can be done to expand our industry with Mr. Courts, and I look forward to further engagements with him in future.”

Read more about the Timber in Construction Policy Roadmap.