Housing Minister Kris Hopkins has hailed the impact of Help to Buy in reviving local businesses and creating new jobs.
Visiting the Hanson’s re-opened Claughton Manor brick works near Lancaster, the minister said Help to Buy equity loan has created a surge in demand for bricks, helping to revive the historic brick works that had been dormant for 4 years.
Part of the local business community since 1898, the brick works mothballed in 2009 due to lack of demand at a great loss to the local community.
Thanks to the rapid increase in construction which house builders attribute to the government’s Help to Buy, the brick works has been restored, 35 jobs have been created, the kilns have been re-fired and bricks are once again rolling off the production line.
Eight out of 10 bricks manufactured in the UK are for housebuilding, so brick production is a good barometer for the housing market and economy as a whole.
The boom for brick makers is being replicated across the industry, with orders for all construction materials now growing at the fastest rate for 10 years.
Mr Hopkins met new workers at Claughton Manor, some of whom had been employed at the site prior to its closure. He heard about Hanson’s plans to take advantage of renewed demand in the housing market. This includes recruitment and training as well as a £500,000 investment in the factory to improve the production and boost efficiency.
Mr Hopkins said:
There is a virtuous circle of house building; for every new home built jobs are created and local businesses and suppliers pick up new orders.
Help to Buy has not only helped thousands of hardworking families to get on the housing ladder, its also laid the foundations for recovery in housebuilding and a boost to local economies. I’m delighted to see how it has played a part in reviving the Claughton Manor brick works.
It’s great to meet the workers who are getting the brick works back in business after 4 years and ramping up production to meet extra demand. I congratulate Hanson for restoring this factory to its former glory, which I hope will remain a thriving business and a valued part of the community for years to come.
Hanson’s Claughton Manor brick works manager Graham Longhorn said:
The growth in house building means orders are very strong and we set a target to re-start by the end of January.
Coming back has been a challenge, but we’ve got the right team and the atmosphere is really good. The works has been renowned since it opened in 1898, so to get an opportunity to continue that history is exciting.