THE biggest housebuilder in Japan has struck a multi-million pound deal to help build thousands of new homes across England.

Sekisui House is to work with UK developer Urban Splash and government body Homes England to build modular houses.

The company is said to be a pioneer of modern construction methods, building houses in factories and shipping them to sites.

Manchester-based regeneration company Urban Splash is well known for reviving the fading fortunes of Morecambe's iconic art deco Midland Hotel a decade ago. The 1930s seaside building was restored to its former glory as a modern, luxury hotel.

The deal between Japan's Sekisui House, based in Osaka, Homes England and Urban Splash is said to be worth £90 million and includes £30 million from the government's home building fund.

Yoshihiro Nakai, president of Sekisui House, said: "Using modern methods of construction to build high-quality homes with short build times is one of our company's great strengths.

"Our technology and know-how can help resolve pressing social issues in the UK, and I want to see us play our part."

Housing minister Kit Malthouse said: "Sekisui House bring with them a proven track record in harnessing the modern methods of construction that are transforming home building.

"Backed by Government investment, today's announcement will support our urgent mission to deliver more, better and faster home construction to ensure a new generation can realise the dream of home ownership."

Urban Splash chairman Tom Bloxham MBE said Sekisui House had "unrivalled" experience in modular construction. He said the two companies shared a philosophy of building "homes not units" - and a belief in "the need for a green future".