Building the future is here: WElink /CNBM and Your Housing Group announce £2.5bn joint venture to create leading UK modular housing developer


  • Creating 25,000 low-carbon homes per year by 2022
  • Rapid construction methods will help to address the UK housing crisis and help deliver the Government’s target of 1million new homes by 2020
  • Building homes which offer a mixed tenure solution
  • CNBM commitment to build six factories across the UK employing over 1,000 people

The deal announced today cements a partnership between WElink Group and leading housing association Your Housing Group (YHG) deploying next generation construction systems from Barcelona Housing Systems and whilst accessing China National Building Material Company’s (CNBM) industrial strength, financial support and leverage for additional investment in the UK.

The joint venture is extremely timely as the UK Government is actively encouraging new innovative entrants to the housing market to help deliver its housing objective of 1million homes by 2020. This allows for the creation of a platform to engage with other Local Authorities and Housing Associations as partners to help solve their housing market needs. The partnership will also support local businesses by developing supply and delivery chains that source materials and labour locally to proposed developments.

International Trade Minister, Greg Hands MP, said of the deal:

“This is a clear endorsement of the UK’s attractiveness as a place for inward investment. This announcement has the potential to benefit local communities across the country, creating jobs, boosting local economies and creating homes.

“The Department for International Trade has worked closely with the consortium to highlight the strengths of the UK and played a fundamental role in bringing together the partners in this exciting joint venture.”

The development concept uses Barcelona Housing Systems which is a state of the art, energy efficient, modular constructed housing which will transform the pace of the delivery of new homes in the UK. This system of construction also differs from other modular housing already in the sector as it will combine British precision produced steel frames and modern composite materials that means the developments are both low carbon and energy efficient in their construction and in their operation.

Ajmal Rahman, Chairman of WElink Group said of the deal:

‘Our partnership comes at a time when the UK’s housing shortfall is only going to be addressed by radical innovation in building practices which opens the way for modular housing.

This joint venture will give a significant kick-start to delivering the new homes people need across the UK which includes helping to address fuel poverty issues through our incorporated solar and energy efficient design – meaning our developments can be at least 75% off-grid. Furthermore, British produced light gauge steel framing will help keep our carbon footprint to a minimum.

Overall, we are delighted by this deal and look forward to playing a significant part in the UK housing market for years to come.’

CNBM’s Chairman Peng remarked:

‘CNBM is the world’s leading construction materials company and with CTIEC have in house a Fortune 200 Engineering group whose approach is to work with local providers and draw upon local expertise for our projects around the world. We are delighted to continue our investment in the UK through innovative housing design and construction methods which we see as world leading.

However, the key to unlocking the opportunities to address the housing needs of the UK is through the development and delivery of an industrialisation strategy at significant scale. To this end, CNBM is also committing to six factories across the UK to deliver modern housing agreed in this deal on a national level.’

YHG and WElink together are currently assessing potential to base the factory sites in strategic locations in: Scotland, South Wales, North East, North West, Yorkshire/North Midlands, and in the South and South West.

Cesar Martinell, Chairman of Barcelona Housing Systems, commented:

‘Within our global opportunity, the UK represents a cornerstone market for our energy efficient modular housing solution and we are excited to be working with YHG to deliver a national solution for the British market.’

Stephen Haigh, UK CEO of the new Joint Venture, added:

‘Through this joint venture we are leading the transformation of the housing market and are able to address the UK’s housing need head-on, creating an innovative platform to enable the increase in supply of new homes.

 Our announcement is very much about identifying new opportunities and assisting Government and other Housing Associations to achieve their housing aspirations as announced in the recent Autumn Statement, such as the £2.3bn infrastructure fund. It is also crucial that we work closely with Local Authorities to create mixed tenure communities to cement our development model as the solution to their house building and development needs’

 Brian Cronin, CEO of Your Housing Group, commented:

‘YHG is committed to providing innovative solutions to address the availability crisis which affects the housing sector in the UK today. Therefore, as one of the UK’s largest Housing Associations, with over 20 years’ experience of housing management and operations, we are delighted to be part of this ground-breaking joint venture. This innovation in housing construction also creates new types of employment, develops new building skills, and nurtures apprenticeship opportunities which is good news for local people and businesses where we develop our housing and supply chains.’

It is anticipated that this joint venture will deliver 25,000 units within the next five years creating localised, dynamic supply chains and new employment opportunities.

Finally, the delivery of this revolutionary partnership is being underpinned by private sector financial investment which means, whilst the UK Government has committed to supporting an increase in house building, it is not dependent on being financially incentivised by the UK Government.

**The images attached show the signing of joint venture contracts (Left-to-right): Ajmal Rahman, Chairman of WElink Group; Mark Tattersall, Chairman of Your Housing Group; Chairman Peng, CNBM; Cesar Martinell, Chairman of Barcelona Housing Systems and Technology Director at WElink Group 

For more information please contact Mike Harrison, Public Relations Manager at WElink on 020 7268 4928 /


Notes to Editors:

–        WElink Group is an international provider of renewable energy and low-carbon construction solutions. Founded in 2007, WElink’s roots are in renewable energy with extensive experience of solar project development around the world. With offices in 9 countries WElink of today has evolved into a leading innovator, developer, financial aggregator, and facilities manager of modern, energy efficient modular construction working in collaborations with the world’s leading building materials company, China National Buildings Material (CNBM). We’ve combined our success in renewable energy to create modern building structures and community dwellings which are not only low-carbon and efficient in their construction but low-carbon and efficient in their application and operation.

Our construction expertise combines energy efficient materials, modular construction methods, and renewable energy in a range of building structures and applications including: residential living (social, affordable and private), commercial development, student accommodation, and community and care amenities.

WElink currently operates in the UK, Europe, South America, and Asia. In the UK, we have opened offices across the country and are presently fitting out a factory in Berkeley, Gloucestershire along with a Research and Development facility and a Technical / Innovation office all of which should be fully operational in the first half of 2017.

–       CNBM is a public traded company (State owned enterprise of China – net assets > $85bn / Fortune 500 company), engaging in cement, lightweight building materials, glass fibre and fibre-reinforced plastic products and engineering service businesses around the world. Within CNBM, CTIEC is a Fortune 200 company leading the way for CNBM in the internationalisation of its Green technologies – renewables and low carbon modular housing. CTIEC: CNBM:

–   Your Housing Group is one of the UK’s largest Housing Associations, with over 20 years’ experience of housing management and operations and with an asset base of over 33,000 properties across the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands.

As one of the foremost developers of high-quality, design driven retirement living accommodation, the Group has also expanded its private rent portfolio with the launch of Hive, an institutional landlord which puts the customer at the centre of everything it does, through innovative technology and state-of-the-art property design.

Growth will shortly see the Group launching its private sale and rental retirement living model under our Peachtree brand, offering high quality lifestyle living for the over 55’s in semi-rural and urban locations.

The Group is also forging an impressive reputation as a leader in regeneration and development, with the highly successful regeneration of the Anfield area in Liverpool

–        Barcelona Housing Systems uses a recycled light-guage steel framing and modern energy efficient composite materials to produce a panel based system in modern industrialised methods which while maintaining high quality can dramatically reduce the leadtime and cost of delivery of residential properties.