Consultant behind “Modernise or Die” report to be given government role

Consultant Mark Farmer is set to be appointed as the government’s champion of modern construction methods.

Housing minister Esther McVey is expected to make the announcement tomorrow, Housing Today understands.

Mark Farmer 2017 CROP

Former EC Harris partner Farmer, who founded consultant Cast in 2016, was the author of the government-commissioned review of the construction industry, Modernise or Die, which was published in 2016. It recommended a huge expansion of the use of modern methods of construction (MMC) to tackle skills shortages.

Farmer will now be the government’s official “MMC champion”, likely to be charged with driving adoption of new construction techniques across the industry. Farmer said the move came at a really important time for the construction industry. “There is an urgent need to rethink how we build homes, delivering better quality, improved safety, carbon reduction and an array of exciting new career opportunities.”

Dave Sheridan, executive chairman at modular housebuilder Ilke Homes, which this morning received a £30m government cash injection, said: “It’s genuinely positive news that ministers have appointed someone to champion MMC. There has been a real drive to push boundaries and innovate and we have seen that with the dynamic approach Homes England has taken to addressing structural issues within our housing and construction industries.”

Russell Pedley, co-founder of experienced MMC architect Assael, said: “Mark is the perfect ambassador for the sector and this welcome appointment shows ministers are really prioritising ways to build cleaner, better quality homes more quickly in factories.”