Growth Hub helps build foundations for housing project

An innovative, Sheffield-based project looking to change the future of house building has received help from Sheffield City Region Growth Hub to take the first steps on their road to success, as they look to construct 50 new homes per month and create up to 30 jobs within five years.

REACH Homes is a project committed to creating affordable, environmentally friendly homes by utilising recycled material. Using discarded shipping containers, REACH Homes will be able to create homes that comprise of 60-80 percent recycled material, whilst giving more people the chance to buy a comfortable and efficient home.

CEO and founder Jon Johnson said: “When I first started (the REACH Homes project), I had some good ideas of how to build an energy efficient house but I was sure that REACH Homes, as a new business, needed to scale quickly.” After a quick bit of research, Jon realised that the Growth Hub could help him turn his business dream into reality.

Through the Growth Hub, Jon was able to secure a £10,000 investment for REACH Homes after successfully completing the Y Accelerator programme, which gave him access to expert business support and the opportunity to pitch to a panel of judges from UK Steel Enterprise and the Growth Hub.

Jon said: “Y Accelerator was really good. I felt that the people I was working with were really committed to helping my business. Because there were other start-up businesses on the programme, there was an opportunity to network and receive peer support.”

He also accessed support from one of the Growth Hub partners’ initiatives – Social Enterprise Exchange – who paired him with some trainee architects to help draw-up plans to allow the construction of the homes to get underway.

The support received so far has allowed REACH Homes to agree a pilot project with Manor and Castle Development Trust, which will see a development created within these wards.

If the pilot is successful, REACH Homes will look to roll out the project throughout the Sheffield City Region, before looking to expand nationally. It has already received interest from Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, Sheffield City Council and several other landowners.

The Growth Hub further referred Jon to support initiatives to help grow his other business – Strip The Willow, an upcycling centre, also based in Sheffield. The Skills Bank provided the business with advice towards training for the staff.

Jon plans to revisit the Growth Hub throughout the development of REACH Homes so that he can continue to receive more guidance, including Access to Finance advice and additional support through Skills Bank to continue to grow the skillset of his team to meet changing demands.

He added: “The Sheffield City Region Growth Hub is a fantastic resource to have at your fingertips. If they are not able to directly provide you with the support you need, they know the person, or organisation, that can.”

“I would recommend any business to get in touch.”

Sheffield City Region Growth Hub provides support and guidance to businesses across a range of sectors within the Sheffield City Region. From start-ups and high-growth businesses, to established corporations, the Growth Hub works to understand the needs of the individual business and opens the door to the support they require.

Click here for more information about REACH Homes.

Contact Sheffield City Region Growth Hub now via the Gateway on 03330 00 00 39 or send an email.