A company from Newhaven that provides a type of prefabricated housing has been appointed to build hundreds of council homes across Sussex and, first, in Lewes District.
Lewes District Council said it has appointed Boutique Modern to a four-year 'framework agreement' for so-called modular housing.
The announcement followed a competitive tendering process, and the local authority believes it's established a framework that other councils in East and West Sussex and Brighton & Hove can take advantage of.
According to the council, Boutique Modern's specialism is "high-quality, sustainably built, affordable housing".
The company, founded in 2009, manufactures units offsite at its factory in Newhaven, before the completed homes are transported and installed on-site.
This, the council said, reduces the impact on the environmental and build-time of developments, and "ensures quality and certainty of cost".
The company claimed to work "closely" with local employment and training organisations, along with companies in a local supply chain.
It counts 46 employees on its workforce, 21 of whom live in the Lewes district.
Councillor Zoe Nicholson, Leader of Lewes District Council, said:
“Building more council homes that are sustainable and so much cheaper and greener to run is at the top of our agenda.
"It's also our determination to use council resources to create jobs locally and to support the district’s economy.
"This new framework is set to generate a multitude of employment and development opportunities for local people and local companies.
“There is no doubt that it is a very significant milestone for the district, that I believe will define a new and exciting era of council house building.”
Dick Shone, Managing Director of Boutique Modern, said:
“We're delighted to have won this contract from a very competitive field of established and well-respected companies.
"The framework allows local authorities across Sussex to radically reduce the time and cost of housing procurement and offers guaranteed service levels, best value pricing and faster project completion.
“We can now build on the great work we've already done over recent years, and further accelerate delivery and improve the quality of affordable homes for residents in Sussex.”
Framework agreements, Lewes District Council said, speed up the process for appointing a contractor and save significant costs by not repeatedly going through a lengthy tendering process.
Councillor William Meyer, Cabinet Member for Housing, said:
“We currently have 129 council properties either moving though the planning process, under construction or recently completed with local families living in them, and the prospect that this agreement will accelerate the development of many more, is hugely exciting."