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Tide CEO still bullish on prospects of MMC after recent failures

  • Tide
  • Tide
  • Tide
  • Tide
 |  Lewis Berrill
Read the full interview

After taking part in the recent House of Lords inquiry into MMC, our CEO Christy Hayes spoke to Property Week’s Lewis Berrill to discuss his thoughts on what the future holds for the sector.

Do you think MMC can have an important place in UK housebuilding in the future?

We have clearly and credibly demonstrated the positive impact MMC can have on housing delivery in the UK, and believe it has a very important role going forward.

There is vast scope for the volumetric modular sector to positively impact the British construction industry. MMC provides a solution to three of the main challenges facing the UK’s construction industry – the housing crisis, the climate crisis and skill shortages – by delivering better-quality homes in a faster, safer and more sustainable way. Of course, the economic landscape has been challenging for all, but there has been a lot of media attention on recent MMC housebuilder failures. Even though these are big names, their market share is not significant, nor representative of the sector.

Lord Moylan calls for the government to encourage successful modular housebuilders from overseas to establish themselves in the UK. Would this benefit the sector?

We welcomed the recent House of Lords inquiry into MMC, but the UK already has successful volumetric modular providers. Tide and [its manufacturer] Vision have a significant portfolio with a proven track record and stable year-on-year growth. We have delivered more than £3.5bn worth of real estate and have 3,000 homes on site with a further significant pipeline. Our projects are backed by global institutional clients and investors.

The design flexibility of our product allows for full architectural creativity


We have been recognised internationally for volumetric construction. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a global authority, stated: “Tide and Vision have championed the use of offsite construction in tall buildings, bringing offsite construction legitimately into the realm of skyscrapers.”

We encourage a wider uptake of MMC, given the many demonstrable benefits in speed, quality, sustainability, design flexibility and safety, in addition to the significant investment and jobs it will create. There is great potential for MMC in the UK, but to maximise these opportunities, the government needs to provide demand stimulus, and it needs to be factored into the government response in future. With certainty of pipeline, our business plan can significantly expand to meet increased demand.


Richard Southall

Do MMC developments face barriers in the form of resistance from planning officers?

We continue to engage with local planners to show the many benefits of building with volumetric construction. We have been working in the UK for many years and have gone on a journey with many of the capital’s boroughs during this period. The design flexibility and high quality of our product allow for full architectural creativity to deliver bespoke designs for communities, and it has been very well received – from a planning perspective, there are no additional constraints and minimal disruption to communities.

However, the planning system poses huge challenges, notably because it lacks resources, it is overburdened and it provides no certainty around planning timescales. For MMC, timeline certainty is paramount as we need visibility of demand to plan our factories effectively.

Are economies of scale and a full pipeline of work for factories necessary for modular to be successful?

For MMC to work, the business plan must reflect the achievable demand. We are builders that developed a system to address the shortcomings in traditional construction. We operate on a vertically integrated procurement model, with Tide as the main developer and contractor and our sister company, Vision, as the offsite manufacturer. We have stable year-on-year growth, and we are on the cusp of becoming mainstream. Tide and Vision’s track record is proof that MMC works and is scalable.

Tide gained approval for its 32-storey Castle scheme early last year. Has work begun?

We are on site and will start the volumetric install in July. The design of this carefully crafted building pays homage to the historic architecture of London pubs and will provide 462 new co-living homes in the borough of Ealing.

Read the full interview