International Trade Documentation and Publications

Shipping containers converted into ‘studio units’ in Walthamstow, London

Created: 31 July 2015

Twenty shipping containers have been turned into small living studios in an innovative bid to help young renters.

MyPad 1

Waltham Forest YMCA transformed the first ten for people living with the charity in the borough, last year. However, this time, the units are being offered to people who are not homeless, but will struggle to pay the high rent costs in London.

The MyPads were completed at the end of June at the YMCA site on Forest Road, Walthamstow. Forest YMCA was handed £645,000 from the Greater London Authority for the new units.

Each unit comes with a bed, storage space, kitchenette and ensuite facilities.

The MyPads cost £120 per week to rent, which includes all bills, plus around £14 a week council tax, allowing residents to save a deposit for a more permanent accommodation.

Hence, residents are only able to live in a MyPad for a maximum of one year.

The scheme has already been praised by locals and government officials for its ‘innovation’, the first units were built for YMCA residents who pay £70 per week which will help secure employment.

Forest YMCA’s Director of Estates, Jessica Laryea said: “At a time when it is so difficult for young people to find affordable housing, we are delighted that we now have a further 20 MyPads that we can offer to rent to those at risk of homelessness.”

“We were inundated with enquiries about renting a MyPad when we first launched the first 10, and feel sure that the new additions will also prove popular.”

The project did look to be under threat when the charity came into financial difficulty, last year. However, despite everything, building work has been completed.

Last year FYMCA gave 550 young homeless people a safe place to live and helped 468 residents into education and training and a further 109 achieve independence. 

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London leads the way on exports for UK regions

Created: 31 July 2015

London and the south east account for more than a quarter of all British manufactured exports, a recent study shows, making it the biggest export market in the country.

The report, from EEF – the industry body for engineering and manufacturing – says 25.4% of total UK factory exports comes from the area, with 47% of those going to countries in the EU.

London and the South East are both the most productive manufacturing sectors in the country, with a productivity rate equivalent to 121% of the national average.

Just 522,600 people from the region are employed in the sector, equivalent to six percent of the workforce – the lowest percentage in the UK.

“This report lifts the lid on the depth of regional diversity and the breadth of opportunity that a strong UK manufacturing base offers for local growth,” EEF chief economist, Lee Hopley said.

Manufacturing has a much smaller presence in the Greater London area in comparison to rest of the country at just 4.8 percent of output, according to the Office for National Statistics. The national average is 18%.

Services in the region account for 87.4% of its output, with construction representing 5.4 percent.

The figures were published earlier this week in the EEF’s regional manufacturing outlook, which shows the west Midlands as the most optimistic region in the UK.

The area scored 6.86 out of 10 for confidence, putting it first place out of the nine UK regions.

The manufacturing hub is currently the second biggest contributor to UK exports by any one region, accounting for 12.1 per cent of manufactured exports.

Around 27 per cent of the area’s exports go to Asia, compared to 16 per cent for the national average. Just 40 per cent go to the EU, which is the lowest proportion of any region. 

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