Leo Clancy, Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Ireland; Leo Varadkar TD, Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Emily King, Divisional Director, ESS Modular; Paul Tierney, Chief Executive Officer, ESS Modular

Irish Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar welcomed the further expansion into the UK of Irish construction specialist, ESS Modular, during his trade mission to the UK organised by Enterprise Ireland, the Irish government’s trade, and innovation agency.

ESS Modular has grown to become an industry leader in modular construction in both Ireland and the UK and after its impressive growth in orders and turnover, the company has announced the doubling of its UK footprint with the new presence opening in Manchester which creates an additional 70 jobs.

Founded in Dublin in 1989, ESS Modular has three decades of experience delivering award-winning buildings using modern methods of construction (MMC). Backed by Enterprise Ireland, ESS Modular has more than doubled its workforce over the last 12 months, adding a total of 110 new employees across its five sites in Ireland and the UK.

The announcement of the new Manchester office for the construction innovator was made at an Enterprise Ireland hosted housing roundtable in London today, which Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD took part in on the first leg of a three-country trade mission to the UK, France and Germany focused on further boosting trade collaboration.

Leading the trade mission to the UK, Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD said, “Ireland and Britain will always have a close relationship. Our two countries are interlinked in myriad different ways, and we will be looking to strengthen those ties as we emerge from the pandemic and face into future challenges, such as climate change and digitalisation. Irish companies have created over 125,000 jobs in Britain. By working closely together, building on existing partnerships and building new ones, we hope to create more jobs and prosperity for both countries. I’m looking forward to visiting the UK, as part of my first in-person trade mission as Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment and I’m really happy to be bringing some good news with me of Irish companies investing and creating jobs on the ground.”

With close collaboration in place across the housing sector between market leading Irish companies and UK local authorities, Leo Varadkar launched the first in a series of knowledge-sharing events to be held over the next year with the leaders and chief executives of local authorities across the UK. The housing roundtable brought together leaders of London local authorities with innovative and market leading Irish businesses with a track record of partnering with local authorities across the UK to discuss housing innovation.

Taking part in the housing roundtable, Paul Tierney, CEO at ESS Modular, said, “We are delighted to be opening this new office in Manchester, which will significantly enhance our presence in the UK. In the last 12 months, we have seen a big shift across the sector to adopt, embrace and actively pursue modern methods of construction. In the UK, there is an increasing demand for modern methods of construction with a number of dedicated MMC frameworks across multiple government departments including, Education, Healthcare and Justice as well as the private sector”.

“For public sector projects, there is a focus on maximising the premanufactured value (PMV) of the building which allows the government to see tangible benefits around how quickly buildings become operational. For obvious reasons, 2020 also saw a big demand for healthcare projects to address the need for additional ward space, as well as clinical and nightingale facilities. We have recently secured over £80 million worth of new healthcare projects in the UK and Ireland as healthcare teams realise the benefits of modular construction for the sector,” he added.

The use of off-site, modular construction methods brings multiple benefits. Buildings can be completed up to 50% faster than traditional constructed projects, be more energy efficient, and is increasingly recognised as having huge environmental benefits due to the increased focus on quality control in a factory environment. ESS Modular have delivered the first homes for the pan-London homelessness scheme, supported by the Mayor of London, which will provide much needed accommodation for homeless families in London, on a test site in Tower Hamlets. ESS are the sole provider on this framework and Phase One of this framework is to deliver 200 homes within the next 2 years.

Irish companies have been adding value to the UK through the delivery of brilliant Irish innovation to benefit local partners throughout the UK. The ESS Modular approach in modern methods of construction allows for much greater speed, cost certainty, energy efficiency, less waste, shorter construction time, precision, and quality control.

 

Accompanying the Irish Deputy Prime Minister on the trade mission, Enterprise Ireland’s Chief Executive Leo Clancy said, “Our long-standing business relationship with the UK is built on the shared values that exists between both countries, as well as our pro-enterprise and pro-competition business environments. The deals announced on this trade mission will see more jobs created in the UK, even closer links between our two business communities, and advancing innovation to solve the challenges of the world today.”

“With our team of Market Advisors working across the UK, Enterprise Ireland is helping both Irish and British companies to find collaborations that solve the challenges they face to create opportunities for further growth, greater competitive advantage in the global marketplace, and to create and sustain jobs,” he added.

Enterprise Ireland-backed companies operating in this sector are best placed to meet the needs of local authorities looking for new innovations and solutions to their housing challenges. These Irish companies are market leaders in cutting-edge innovation, digitisation, quality, compliance, and modern methods of construction (MMC). These factors are core to the delivery of housing in the UK and meets the net zero commitments, compliance, and fire safety requirements of councils.