US banking giant Goldman Sachs has invested £75m in modular housing manufacturer, TopHat.
The South Derbyshire-based firm is developing processes that harness new technologies to build prefabricated homes quickly and efficiently.
Goldman Sachs believes TopHat can help solve the UK's housing crisis.
The UK Government wants to build 300,000 new homes annually by the mid-2020s.
In a 2017 white paper the country's housing market was described as "broken", with too few properties available at too high a cost. The paper supported "more modular and factory-built homes” and wished to encourage more investment in the private rented sector.
TopHat was set up in 2016 with a view to factory-build properties in modules which are transported to a given site for final assembly. TopHat began building modules in 2018. The first site is expected to open in Chatham, Kent. 300 properties will become available at the disused Kitchener Barracks.
Gordon More, chief investment officer of Homes England, the state organization that releases land to developers, welcomed the Sachs/TopHat deal: “If we are to increase industry’s capacity to build high-quality homes off-site, it’s vital others join us in our mission.”
Tavis Cannell, a managing director at Goldman Sachs, commented: “TopHat’s technology-driven approach has the potential to make a significant impact on the UK’s housing shortage.”
TopHat chief executive, Jordan Rosenhaus, said: “We are incredibly excited to have Goldman Sachs as an investor in TopHat."
Rosenhaus added: "This transaction is a sign of the tremendous progress TopHat has made since it was established and the significant market opportunity in the housing and digital construction sectors in the UK.”
The TopHat website states the firm is “passionate about creating the very best homes in the very best locations,” and that it is “committed to the best practice defined by The Consumer Code for New Homes.”
The firm describes its South Derbyshire plant as a “state-of-the-art manufacturing facility” with a mission to “pioneer” the technology and manufacturing processes necessary to lead the Britain’s “digital construction sector”.
Last year, the firm was recommended by the Lloyd’s Registration Certification Body for certificates in their Occupational Health & Safety Management System as well as their Environmental Management System.