NORTH Yorkshire’s new £55 million housebuilding factory has unveiled its first prototype, more than a year after plans for the flat-pack housing venture were revealed.

National insurance giant Legal & General announced in February last year it was looking to break into housebuilding through its new division L&G Modular, choosing Sherburn in Elmet for the location of a 555sq ft factory.

The factory, which is the largest of its kind in Europe, and will at full capacity produce 3,000 modular homes a year, has just revealed its first prototype.

Revealing the two-storey, two-bedroom home, L&G Modular said it expects to deliver its first homes in the first half of next year.

The factory site, which L&G has taken on a ten-year lease, will create homes across eight production lines, using cross laminated timber (CLT). The process will employ hundreds of people from the surrounding area.

The insurer believes modular building is quicker and more efficient than traditional house building as it delivers homes in a matter of weeks rather than years.

Rosie Toogood, chief executive of L&G Modular, said: “The unveiling of our first prototype marks an exciting and important step in our programme to bring modular homes constructed from CLT to market.

“This prototype demonstrates the high quality of our modular solutions debunking preconceptions of modular housing. At full production, homes like this will be delivered repeatedly in a matter of weeks without the snagging issues faced by traditional methods.

“L&G has a long heritage in providing housing in the UK and sees modular construction as a natural evolution and extension of its position in this market.

“Modular construction is set to revolutionise the house building sector bringing new materials along with methods and processes used in industries, such as car-making to raise productivity and help to address the UK’s chronic shortfall of new homes.”

L&G has been involved in housing activities for nearly 20 years including: through its stake in CALA Homes; delivering a 1,000 home scheme in Crowthorne through its own house building arm, Legal & General Homes; and investing in a new institutional Build to Rent product.