Timber frame construction specialist, SO Modular, welcomed Economy Minister and Senedd Member, Vaughan Gething, to its new state-of-the-art, off-site manufacturing facility, located at the ‘Old Metal Box’ factory in Neath.
Mr Gething was given a guided tour around the new facility, ahead of its grand opening later in the year. During his visit, he was shown SO Modular’s latest investment in new equipment and explained its plans for the site – where it will be producing sustainable, innovative, modular wood panel systems and roof trusses for use in the wider construction industry.
The regeneration of the ‘Old Metal Box’ factory into SO Modular’s new facility has been made possible due to a substantial £900,000 Property Business Development Grant through the European Regional Development Fund.
In addition, loan funding support worth over £2.8 million, provided through the Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme (IHP) to Tai Tarian Housing Association, has facilitated further investment in plant and machinery to increase its capacity.
This increased capacity will allow SO Modular to help tackle the local and national housing shortage, by creating affordable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly housing.
Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said: “This government is committed to backing Welsh business and as we emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic one of my priorities is to kickstart Wales’ economic recovery, ensuring it becomes an engine for sustainable, green growth.
“SO Modular is a well-established company anchored in the local community. They are an important employer in the region, and I am delighted our support will help them to grow their business and further their decarbonisation ambitions.”
SO Modular and J. G. Hale Construction chairman, Jonathan Hale, said: “It was wonderful to be able to welcome Mr Gething to our brand-new site at the newly regenerated ‘Old Metal Box’ factory. The investment received through the Property Business Development Grant and the Welsh Government’s IHP scheme has made an enormous difference to SO Modular’s capacity.
“Regeneration of the ‘Old Metal Box’ factory and, subsequently, increasing capacity at SO Modular are both integral to the economic recovery Wales very much needs. The facility’s sustainable, eco-friendly products will also go some considerable distance to helping Wales achieve its future zero-carbon housing targets.”