Prefabrication specialist Yorkon and supermarket giant Tesco have signed a partnership agreement to build 49 "Express" stores over the next 12 months.
The orders will be worth about £10m to Yorkon, with the first 21 stores to be completed within six months.

The programme is part of a three-year plan to create up to 150 new Express stores on Esso petrol forecourts. The convenience stores will be made up of seven or eight 12 m long steel-framed modules and can be craned on to preprepared foundations within a day.

Guy Digby, property services manager for Tesco Express, said modular construction is suitable for its immense roll-out programme as it is quick and, in large volumes, cost-effective.

Keith Blanshard, director and general manager of Yorkon, said the deal is evidence of the increasing demand for modular construction. He said: "More organisations than ever before are recognising the benefits to be gained from modular systems – faster return on investment, guaranteed quality and predictable costs."

Blanshard added that the surge in interest followed Sir John Egan's call for greater use of prefabrication in Rethinking Construction.