Moray firm Morlich Homes (MHL) is building a new £1.1million production facility for sustainable modular timber frame homes in Elgin, which is expected to create up to 14 new jobs.
Work on the development, at Elgin Business Park, has started and is due to be completed next year.
Privately-owned MHL currently builds around 40-50 bespoke homes in Moray and the Highlands each year and has a workforce of 15.
Next year it is due to start work on more than 170 houses across three sites.
The new facility will enable the firm to produce EPC “A” rated sustainable and thermally efficient modular timber frame homes on all of its developments, for private and social housing clients.
New facility will mean less on-site construction
The increase in factory prefabrication will mean less construction on site, fewer deliveries and less waste in materials and the reduced heating needs of the new houses will lower carbon emissions and energy bills.
The project has received funding of up to £87,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), towards fit-out costs of £189,000.
MHL director, John Main, said: “Our new 6,500sq ft production facility represents a significant investment for the business and underpins our commitment to delivering quality energy efficient homes in locations throughout the region.
“The building will be home to our technical and commercial teams and also facilitate the creation of another 14 positions over the coming years including future apprenticeship opportunities within various aspects of the business.”
He continued: “The new building will also assist in minimizing our business environmental impact with a number of energy-saving features and improve our working environment for the team with a bespoke office layout for improved teamwork and collaborative working.
“We have been planning to relocate our office and create a new timber frame facility for a few years.
“Elgin Business Park presented us with the ideal opportunity to relocate our business within Moray providing our clients and workforce with good connectivity and a number of sustainable transport options.”
Project backed with money from Green Jobs Fund
HIE’s funding is through the Green Jobs Fund, in light of the low carbon and energy saving benefits of the project.
Steve Richards, business development account manager with HIE, said: “This project will provide security for employees of MHL as well as create many new skilled jobs.
“It will bring about several environmental benefits linked to low carbon and waste reduction. As such it is a great illustration of how companies in the Highlands and Islands are adapting to the challenges of Scotland’s net-zero targets while continuing their economic growth.
“I am very pleased we have been able to support this initiative through the Green Jobs Fund and look forward to continuing to work with MNHL as they develop the new facility.”
The development was welcomed by Moray MSP and Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work, Richard Lochhead.
Mr Lochhead said: “Getting the right people and skills in place are vital to achieving our ambitious climate change goals.
“By investing in research and development, as well as machinery and equipment, the £100 million Green Jobs Fund will support the net zero businesses Scotland needs for the future.”
“I am pleased to see the Fund supporting our green recovery and creating new opportunities for people to move into growing sectors like modular timber.
“In addition to the new green jobs Morlich Homes are creating, timber innovations like this help reduce heating bills and significantly reduce carbon emissions.”