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3 minute read - 26th April 2023

TopHat’s new factory a step closer with £70m investment

TopHat, the modular house builder, has raised £70m from new and existing shareholders as the company draws closer to opening Europe’s largest modular housing factory, from which it will manufacture up to 4,000 ultra low-carbon homes a year.

FTSE-100 house builder Persimmon and institutional investor Aviva, through its newly launched Aviva Capital Partners unit, have each made a substantial investment in the company. Existing shareholders Goldman Sachs Asset Management also subscribed to TopHat’s latest fundraising round. Homes England, which has funded TopHat’s development at Kitchener Barracks in Chatham, continues to explore the potential for additional support as part of its ongoing commitment to the sector.

TopHat says this successful fundraise will help to cement its leadership of the modular homebuilding sector. In addition to its current output of up to 800 homes a year from its first factory in Derby, it will begin production from its new 650,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Corby, Northamptonshire in 2024. The new factory will employ 1,000 people, many of whom will be apprentices or employees entering the sector for the first time, working alongside the most advanced house building robots operating at scale in the UK.

Modular house builder TopHat has secured a £70m investment as it draws closer to opening Europe’s largest modular housing factory in Corby / Picture: TopHat

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Every home that is manufactured along TopHat’s production lines is capable of being zero-carbon, meaning no operational emissions are produced from heating and utilities. This is achieved through exceptional building fabric and the incorporation of low-carbon technologies such as solar panels and battery storage. When combined, these efficiencies will help to drastically reduce a home’s carbon footprint while helping to cut energy bills, which have reached record-highs over the last year.

Jordan Rosenhaus, CEO and founder of TopHat, said: “Today’s announcement is testament to the innovative approach that TopHat continues to take to house building and marks a step-change for the future of housing. It has been clear for some time that designing and building green, beautiful homes in factories is a critical part of solving the housing crisis – and today’s announcement will enable TopHat to reach the scale where the new generation of modular homes can be made available to everyone.”

In 2024, TopHat will open its cutting-edge 650,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Corby where 1,000 people will be employed / picture: TopHat

Dean Finch, group chief executive at Persimmon, added: “Persimmon is delighted to announce this partnership, combining the country’s most innovative modular manufacturer with the most cost-effective volume house builder. This investment provides Persimmon with guaranteed access to very energy-efficient volumetric modular units as well as TopHat’s innovative brick façade to use with our Space4 timber frame products. This will provide further build efficiencies, manage the growing challenge of labour shortages in key trades and expand our product range for customers. Combining our complementary industry-leading capabilities alongside other significant new investment makes me excited for the opportunities ahead.”

John Cummins, CEO of Aviva Capital Partners, said: “Aviva is using its financial strength to invest in the sustainable infrastructure and real estate which are central to the UK’s net zero transition. TopHat is a pioneer of low-carbon homes and this investment will make sustainable housing more widely available, making a difference to communities and providing a retirement income for our customers.”

Reducing the UK housing stock’s operational emissions is deemed vital if the UK is to meet its legally binding net zero targets. Energy use in homes currently makes up 23 percent of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions – more than double the amount from agriculture, and nearly as much as all transport emissions. TopHat is already working with some of the UK’s biggest developers and investors, including BoKlok, Man Group and Urban & Civic.

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