Shadow Levelling Up Minister sees benefits of offsite timber manufacturing

Offsite timber manufacturing

Shadow Levelling Up Minister and MP for Nottingham North, Alex Norris MP, visited Donaldson Offsite’s operations in Ilkeston, Derbyshire – the UK’s largest trussed rafter and timber floor factory – this week.

In his capacity as Shadow Levelling Up Minister and Vice Chair of the APPG for the Timber Industries, Mr Norris was keen to see first-hand the economic and environmental benefits of building offsite with timber.

Mr Norris was given a short presentation and tour of the site by CTI Chairman Alex Goodfellow and Donaldson Managing Director Luke Roberts, who outlined the building processes, logistics and economic benefits of constructing trussed rafters offsite.

Offsite timber manufacturing is set to be a crucial component of the construction sector in the years ahead, offering a useful tool in the UK’s bid to tackle the housing, climate, and labour crises.

Timber businesses like Donaldson Offsite can produce an abundance of high-quality homes around the UK at a significantly lower carbon cost compared to steel and concrete.

The UK timber industry is ripe for expansion, and with proper government incentives, this abundant and localised manufacturing base can be levelled up right across the country.

The CTI will continue to advocate timber’s positive message across the House and maintain our active engagement with the Government’s Timber in Construction Working Group.

Shadow Minister for Levelling Up, Alex Norris MP, said:

“It was excellent to visit the Donaldson factory in Ilkeston on Friday and see firsthand the processes and benefits of offsite timber construction.

“Just a stone’s throw from my Nottingham North constituency, the Donaldson site highlighted how offsite construction can create localised and low-carbon manufacturing bases across the country.

“Timber construction is certainly a useful tool in our bid to decarbonise construction and is something Labour will look to explore further.”

CTI Chairman, Alex Goodfellow, said:

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

“Offsite timber construction is also a realistic and viable asset to levelling up the UK, with timber manufacturing based away from London and across the country in towns like Ilkeston.

“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.

“Offsite timber construction is not a magic bullet to the UK’s many issues, however, with the right policy and support, it can become invaluable in our bid to fight climate change and level up.”

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

*This article was originally posted on the Confederation of Timber Industries website – an umbrella organisation which represents the UK’s timber supply chain.