I have been at Deeley for more than half a century and I have never experienced anything similar to what we have all been through in 2020 and what is likely to continue well into 2021.
The success of the Deeley Group over the last 84 years has been built on the high-quality team we have in the business and the great companies and people we work with, and never has that been more evident than this year.
We have, across all our spheres of operation, adapted to the very necessary restrictions placed on us because of the pandemic and that has allowed us to keep delivering and keep driving forward.
That has been true on site and in our offices. Those out on site have ensured that social distancing and other measures have been adhered to while still working on our projects, while many of our office staff seamlessly flipped to working from home.
Those working arrangements changed according to the severity of lockdowns and, as we approach the end of the year, we are nowhere near back to normal working.
The year has seen us work on a massively wide range of projects from private housing to care homes, from university faculties to retail units, and from coffee drive-throughs to advanced technology car-parks.
We have continued to support our local communities – for example the Starley Sportive which we co-host raised almost £10,000 despite not taking place!
I would therefore like to thank everyone – internal staff and external partners – for helping us all get through 2020 in such good shape.
Next year is a big one for us – it’s our 85th anniversary – and for Coventry, with the UK City of Culture starting in May.
However, the main priority is that we all stay safe and healthy so I would like to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Peter Deeley, Managing Director
The ASSURED CAV Parking facility will be used by HORIBA MIRA to create a realistic, controlled setting for testing automated parking technology, further cementing the Midlands at the forefront of automotive innovation.
The facility was developed in partnership with Coventry University as part of the Trusted Intelligent Parking project, and forms part of HORIBA MIRA’s wider ASSURED CAV ecosystem – a first-of-its-kind location for developing connected and autonomous vehicles, set to open in March 2021.
The parking facility is located on HORIBA MIRA’s existing City Circuit test facility and its completion marks the 10th project Deeley Construction has worked on at HORIBA MIRA.
Deeley Construction has created a multi-storey car park consisting of three levels with off highway and on highway parking to replicate different types of car parking at the facility.
The parking areas will be co-located in the HORIBA MIRA City Circuit, a safe, comprehensible and fully controllable purpose-built ‘cityscape’ test track environment, allowing verification of the transition from an urban driving environment into a dedicated parking facility.
The facility will be supported by a ‘digital twin’ so users can replicate parking scenarios in simulation, enabling a wide range of CAV driving and parking scenarios to be tested in a virtual environment before being validated at the facility.
Car passengers will exit their vehicle, for it to then find its own parking space, returning to the passenger at a designated waiting area when requested.
Work has been completed during the Covid-19 pandemic with social distancing measures in place on site.
Martin Gallagher, managing director of Deeley Construction, said: “This has been a fascinating project to work on and we’re proud to be part of a project that could prove vital in automotive development over the coming years.
“Our site team have been working on site for the past six months and have ensured works didn’t disrupt the day-to-day operations at HORIBA MIRA. Despite the pandemic and the challenges it brings, we have delivered the development on time and on target.
“The development continues a 10-year strong association between HORIBA MIRA, MIRA Technology Park and Deeley Construction. We look forward to working in partnership with them on further developments in the future.”
Declan Allen, managing director of HORIBA MIRA, said: “We’re very pleased to see construction complete on our new ASSURED CAV Parking facility, despite a challenging year Deeley delivered the project to the highest standards, on time and to budget.
“The facility is a key pillar within our wider ASSURED CAV ecosystem which is due to open next year and will help to ensure the next generation of connected and autonomous vehicles are safe and secure.”
PICTURE CAPTION: From left to right – Martin Gallagher and Declan Allen.
Chris Newman, a contracts manager who has worked at Deeley for almost eight years, has been handed the Gary Neville Award for all of his efforts during a challenging 12 months.
The award was founded in 2012 in Gary’s memory after he passed away in 2011. It honours employees who have gone above and beyond for Deeley each year, and is voted for by members of staff.
Chris’s work in leading and completing projects in Chipping Norton in Gloucestershire and Haddenham in Buckinghamshire against the backdrop of the pandemic saw him receive the most votes.
And although Chris was honoured to receive the award, he was keen to heap praise on his colleagues at the company.
He said: “It was a real privilege to find out I was going to receive the Gary Neville Award this year.
“I didn’t get to meet Gary in person before I joined the company but, by all accounts, he was a fantastic person, so I’m very humbled to have been voted by my fellow employees to win the award.
“Although the award has been given to me, it’s definitely been a team effort this year, especially with how tough it’s been in 2020.
“The pandemic has produced challenges that everyone has had to meet head-on, and I’m proud of what we’ve been able to achieve against that backdrop.
“For me, the award recognises every single person whose worked on the projects – they’ve made me look better than I am to be honest!”
Deeley Group Managing Director Peter Deeley added: “We know how difficult it’s been this year, not just for Deeley Group, but for everyone.
“That’s why I think what Chris and his team have achieved has been recognised by our staff and resulted in them voting for him to win the Gary Neville Award this year.
“Chris is a great employee and has always been humble, so I’m not surprised he’s chosen to pay tribute to his team.
“We all pull together at Deeley Group, and we’ll continue to do so as we head into 2021.”
PICTURE CAPTION: Peter Deeley, Chris Newman and Julie Neville.
Brackley Care home has been completed by Deeley Construction and marks Kingsley Healthcare’s 31st care service.
The home, in Wellington Road, has 66 modern en-suite bedrooms, a cinema room, library, café, hairdressing salon, quiet lounges and conservatory while attractive outside spaces include a sensory garden.
The striking, contemporary design is the work of award-winning Leamington Spa-based Rickett Architects.
Eleanor Deeley, deputy managing director of the Deeley Group, said: “It is excellent to see this development now completed and great that the feedback from visitors to the new care home has been so overwhelmingly positive.
“We have a proven record of delivering quality developments across the healthcare sector and the Brackley care home joins the growing list of successful projects.
“Our team has worked in partnership with Kingsley throughout to deliver this scheme, which is of great benefit to people in the area and will also create a significant number of jobs locally.”
South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom and the Mayor of Brackley, Cllr Christopher Cartmell, were given VIP tours ahead of the first residents’ arrival – and both said how impressed they were with the home’s facilities and decor.
Other guests of honour included Emma McGowan, alumni and community relations manager at Winchester House school, who runs the Brackley Community Dementia Friendly Choir.
The home’s dementia unit has been named the McGowan Suite, honouring her valuable community work through the choir.
Pupils from the school have presented the home with a colourful piece of artwork which will take pride of place in the Maypole Café, a relaxed meeting place for families near the front entrance.
Home manager Sheena Croston added: “I am thrilled by the positive feedback I have had from everyone who has visited the home.
“Once Covid has gone away, we will be eager to build even stronger relationships with local groups and organisations and invite them into the home. It is important for us and our future residents that the home becomes a central part of the community.”
Muj Malik, Kingsley’s chief investment officer, said: “We are looking forward to serving the community of Brackley. The home will be a great anchor for us to grow in the Midlands. I am incredibly proud of our team who have got the home ready to welcome our first residents at such a difficult time.”
Brackley Care Home is one of an exciting pipeline of next generation nursing homes Kingsley is rolling out across the country as part of its Vision 2025 – with a further unit planned in Olney in neighbouring Buckinghamshire.
Daya Thayan, CEO of Kingsley, rated a top 20 large care home group by review site carehome.co.uk, said: “We are proud to be a family-owned company and have guarded our family values as we have grown. Every one of our homes has to be of a standard that we would want for our own family.
“In addition to providing luxury care facilities, Brackley Care Home is also delivering well-paid jobs from senior managers and nurses to chefs, support workers, maintenance and housekeepers.
“In Sheena, we have an experienced home manager with a superb track record, and she is being supported by a great team.”
Aviator House, situated on the former Haddenham Airfield, has been delivered by Midlands-based Deeley Construction in partnership with Henry Davidson Developments.
The development features 17 high-specification apartments, a Co-Operative store and Bright Horizons Day Nursery & Pre School.
Deeley Construction and Henry Davidson Developments have completed the construction during the Covid-19 pandemic and the development is set to bring economic and social benefits to Haddenham and the surrounding area.
Steve Turner, construction director at Deeley Construction, said: “We are delighted to have delivered this development in partnership with Henry Davidson Development. The project is quite different in the fact that it has been constructed with a steel frame for the commercial element, with a two-storey timber frame for the apartments above.
“Our team have been working on site to complete the construction to the high-quality standard we pride ourselves on and we are sure that the project will bring great benefits for the community in Haddenham, all whilst adhering to our new social distancing procedures.
“There is a thriving and growing community in Haddenham, with a range of other housing developments being completed in the area, and Aviator House will be a fantastic addition to the area’s offering.”
Richard Croft, director of Henry Davidson Developments, added: “This development is providing desirable homes and services that will benefit not only the new residents here but the existing and developing community in the area.
“We have strong experience in delivering high quality mixed-use developments of this type and it has been great to work with Deeley Construction to make Aviator House a reality.”
The apartments are being marketed by agents Breckon & Breckon and have already received strong interest from buyers with more than 50 per cent of the properties already sold to first time buyers and investors.
Aviator House benefits from being perfectly positioned in the commuter belt, with easy access to the M40, Haddenham and Thames Parkway Station and regular rail services to London, Birmingham and Bicester Village.
Sophie Kennard, new homes adviser at Breckon & Breckon, said: “There has been great interest in this development and it’s continuing to grow, not stemmed by the recent lockdown.
“We’re already seeing the first residents move in to their new homes, many who will be commuting into London. The apartments each have their own individual balconies and coupled with the green space nearby this has proved popular with people moving out of the city.
“Initially we had a lot of interest from first-time buyers and now we’re seeing more investors too, it’s a great opportunity to purchase high-quality property within the commuter belt.”
Our movements are restricted, our offices are closed – save for a few essential staff for whom working from home is not an option – and all meetings have moved online once more.
We are able to continue work on our construction sites and are, in many ways, in a fortunate position compared to many other industries such as tourism and leisure.
There is, however, no question that it makes things more challenging.
Starting new jobs is incredibly hard as there is so much information that has to be passed on. Then there are factors such as how you induct new staff members and the list goes on and on.
It is like walking through treacle, everything is harder and everything requires more effort.
But we fully understand why the lockdown was re-introduced after the loosening of restrictions brought the much-anticipated second wave and we know we have to slow the spread of the virus and allow the NHS to be able to cope.
However, to then read that the Government are planning a temporary U-turn over Christmas for a period of around five days with multiple households mixing, really does get me quite upset and angry.
That could, according to reports, mean another lockdown of 20 days. The Government are measuring things in terms of lockdown days rather than the cost both in human terms and also damage to the economy – an economy which is already in a highly precarious state.
The explanations seem almost nonchalant – “Oh, we will have another 20 days of lockdown.” It is as if they haven’t assessed the impacts of those five days of fun
We have seen numbers rising in terms of suicide rates and most people will be able to tell you a story of someone they know, or a friend of a friend who has committed suicide this year which is devastating.
The idea that it is worth being locked down for a month for the sake of just five days, just seems absurd.
It also seems rather right wing that the Government is prepared to sacrifice lives, the future of some businesses, many jobs and the health of the economy for an element of society to celebrate Christmas when Eid was cancelled with a day’s notice and Diwali severely restrict.
It doesn’t seem appropriate to say that this one Christian celebration is worth all of this damage – you start to wonder if that is a very Christian thing to do.
The motive just seems to be to placate the population by saying we can celebrate Christmas without explaining the factual consequences. I cannot decide whether the Government feels that the population is incapable of digesting the implications or whether they have not assessed what the implication of Festive fun would be for the nation both economically and for the NHS.
People are working so hard to keep business and families afloat and the idea you can just abandon the rules with no logical and explainable reason is total nonsense, and actually goes totally against the mantra the Government have been preaching as vital for so long.
It smacks totally of populism – but it is populism with a deathly consequence.
By Eleanor Deeley