A social enterprise is investing more than £1 million in a new factory to meet the growing demand for zero carbon homes.
Creating Enterprise has taken over the former Travis Perkins depot in Cefndy Road in Rhyl and is hoping it can also play a key role in regeneration the Denbighshire town’s West End.
The remodelled 10,000 sq ft premises will be making the timber frames for energy efficient homes – with 50 already being built and another 100 on the order book.
They will also be installing an £80,000 machine to manufacture posi-joists for floor and roof structures, comprising a metal web sandwiched between two timber flanges through which cables and pipes can be threaded.
As well as being used in their own Passivhaus homes, they will also be sold to other developers and industry suppliers.
Last year Creating Enterprise was named as the fastest growing firm in Wales at the 2020 Wales Fast Growth 50 awards and signed a five-year contract with a company called Beattie Passive giving them exclusive rights to their pioneering Passivhaus build system in North Wales.
Creating Enterprise also maintain Cartrefi’s existing 4,000 properties, helping local people, including tenants, to find employment, training and volunteering opportunities. Its commercial profits are reinvested into its highly successful Creating Futures employment academy.
The new factory development will create nine new jobs for tenants and unemployed local people and was made possible thanks to funding from the Welsh Government and the National Lottery.
It’s part of Cartrefi Conwy’s plan to build 1,000 homes with rock bottom energy bills and dovetails with the Welsh Government’s strategy to deliver affordable, energy efficient homes that tackle fuel poverty.
The beauty of the modular system is that in can be configured in different ways – ranging from a single story one-bedroom property to a two-storey, seven bedroom family houses.
Adrian Johnson, Managing Director of Commercial Services at Cartrefi Conwy, said: “This development is all about fulfilling the ethos of Creating Enterprise because we’ll be bringing in people who are currently unemployed and furthest from the jobs market.
“Our aim is to get local people, including tenants of Cartrefi Conwy or Denbighshire County Council, into full-time employment and upskilling them.
“What we are doing is also in line with the Welsh Government’s ambitions to build net zero carbon homes that are cheap to live in.
“After the news about utility bills going up again in October for us all, I think building the most energy efficient homes that you can in the UK today, is more important than ever.”
It was a message echoed by Andrew Bowden, the Chief Executive of Cartrefi Conwy.
He said: “This is part of our development as an organisation. We’re always looking for opportunities to expand and create more commercial opportunity for the group.
“Importantly, it’s about creating more jobs and the key here is working in the west end of Rhyl, being able to take a redundant building that was being sold on by Travis Perkins and to give it a new lease of life.
“It’s an exciting future for the area and we’re looking to actually work with Denbighshire Council on how we can identify and encourage those furthest from the job market local to this area to get these opportunities.
“We want to actually support the council in its regeneration of this area by investing in this factory development.
“We’re already building 22 homes for the local authority in Denbigh, and we hope to grow on that into the future and I hope the council see this as a commitment to their area and to Denbighshire.”
“Creating Enterprise is going from strength to strength and the diversification enables the group to grow and reinvest our profits back for the benefits of our tenants.
“Our mantra is about creating communities to be proud of and we hope this development with enhance the West End of Rhyl in partnership with Denbighshire County Council.”