Local, family owned, JJ Smith responds to the Budget 2021

Whilst it is good to hear the views and response of local politicians and leaders to the Budget announcements, the most important response is that of our local businesses. Knowsley Chamber spoke to JJ Smith to get the view of a 4th generation family owned and managed, Knowsley based business:

Rachael Baker, Commercial Director, said there are a number of announcements in today’s budget that we welcome:

  • The Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) Taskforce (point 2.125 in the budget). We are proud to supply machinery to the offsite construction industry and welcome the increased focus on this construction method.  Liverpool City Region was highlighted as having an ambitious proposal for MMC in the budget, and as industry experts we think this is a fantastic opportunity for the region as a whole.  See below more details on JJ Smith’s MMC capabilities.
  • The super-deductions on capital investments in machinery assets. This provides a fantastic opportunity for UK businesses to invest in new woodworking machinery that will enable them to be more productive, innovative or efficient while simultaneously reducing their corporation tax liabilities.  We are a family business based in Knowsley and we’re proud to provide employment and training opportunities to local people.  If companies use this incentive from the government to buy machinery from us, they know that they will be getting world class equipment with long-term support from a company that has been trading for nearly 100 years.  This incentive could be a fantastic opportunity for a large number of our customers to take on new projects and we’re excited to see what they do with it.
  • The Liverpool City Region Freeport. We are waiting to understand the full details of the Freeport plan for the region, but as a company that trades internationally on a daily basis we welcome the possibilities that easier trading could bring to us as a company.
  • The increased apprenticeship funding is excellent too. We are passionate about apprenticeships and hopefully this will help many more young people get into good careers.


Modular Building Automation BV (MBA) is a company established by J J Smith Woodworking Machinery Ltd, and a Dutch company. We are both 50% owners.

MBA develop, and market around the world, equipment for the manufacture of engineering plant and equipment for the manufacture of offsite solutions for the construction industry.  J J Smith are responsible for the product concepts, marketing, installation and technical support of the equipment worldwide. Our Dutch partners are responsible for the actual production of the equipment.

As on-site labour becomes more difficult there is a push both in the UK and around the world to use ‘Modern Methods of Manufacturing’ (MMC) which is also known as Offsite Construction.  This has been recognised by the UK government through Homes England who have stated that 25% of homes should be built using MMC [https://www.housingtoday.co.uk/news/a-quarter-of-affordable-homes-must-be-mmc/5107883.article]

Within our 35,000 square foot factory and offices in Knowsley, J J Smith are able to demonstrate, test and work on equipment for the offsite industry.  Our support team are working customers from Australia to Aberdeen, Norway to Nottingham and Romania to Rochdale ensuring that their equipment to build offsite is adequately maintained.

A good example of this work is Local Homes [ http://www.localhomes.co.uk/] the wholly owned subsidiary of Walsall council’s housing association Accord Housing Group [ https://accordgroup.org.uk/ ] J J Smith won the initial tender to supply all the equipment for their first in house factory in 2014 and last year completed the fit out of their larger factory that now includes two production lines for the manufacture of closed panel timber frame walls.

Another example of advanced manufacturing techniques developed, installed and supported by us include Top Hat Industries Ltd [ https://tophat.io/ ] where we installed complete production lines for walls and floors for this new modular manufacturing company based in Derby.

Other examples of our offsite projects include

Manufacturing equipment for

  • Structurally Insulated Panels (SIP)
  • Steel Frame equipment


Recent export projects have included

  • Romania
  • Poland
  • Spain


Development projects include

Brick slip robotics

We are developing a solution for laying brick slips on wall elements in the factory see


Steel Frame Assembly lines

We are also developing a complete range for assembling steel frame floor and wall elements in the factor in way timber frame has been done for many years.


These latest research projects will ensure that we remain both the market leader in supplying equipment in the UK to the offsite industry and are able to continue to compete on the world stage.