A new multi-million pound Dunelm Mill store has welcomed customers for the first time in Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire.
The 22,000 sq ft unit at Wolstanton Retail Park has been built by Midlands-based Deeley Construction and has finally been able to open its doors following the Government’s announcement that non-essential retail could reopen from April 12.
The store has employed around 60 new local members of staff and has been purpose-built for the retailer by Deeley Construction.
Work was completed in October 2020 and carried out entirely during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dunelm Mill now has 174 shops, including the new Wolstanton store, and has seen its value rise to £2.8 billion over the last 12 months.
The store was officially opened by Emily Petts, co-founder of Alice Charity which supports families living in poverty in the Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Staff have been working closely with community groups ahead of opening, including collecting blankets for City Dogs Home and Alice Charity.
Members of the Dunelm Newcastle-under-Lyme Community Support group on Facebook were invited to be the first customers of the store – with people queuing up from 7.30am to see inside the huge new store.
The spacious store features a make and mend department to encourage repair and reuse of products.
It also features a café, extended decorating offer and sells a vast selection of homeware and home furnishing goods – for which Dunelm is renowned for around the country.
The cafe will be opening from May 17 and will include afternoon teas as part of its offering.
Deeley Construction also completed work to improve the foundations of the existing Matalan unit and ensure a fire safety route from Marks & Spencer was maintained.
Martin Gallagher, managing director of Deeley Construction, said: “It’s brilliant to see the store finally open after what has been an incredibly difficult few months for retailers across the country.
“With people queuing up to be the first into the store that proves there is a huge demand for a retailer of this type in the area and it is already providing a huge boost to the local economy, with new jobs and additional footfall for the retail park.
“Our team delivered this development on site during the Covid-19 pandemic and in a live environment, with many customers still visiting Wolstanton Retail Park during the build.
“We ensured there was as little disruption as possible to other businesses and the new Dunelm store is the latest addition to a thriving retail landscape in the area.”
Midlands-based developer Deeley Group is delivering the new development on the Birmingham New Road and Spring Road junction.
Deeley Properties, a division of the Deeley Group, worked in partnership with Ziran Land Ltd and the land owners Forty Four Club to bring forward the scheme.
It is expected to be completed by September 2021 and will create five full-time and 12 part-time jobs.
The companies are delivering a finished building for Costa, who will enter into a 15-year lease, and Deeley Construction has now started work on site.
It includes four electric vehicle charging bays which will be leased and operated by Osprey Charging Network Ltd. As part of the development, a new access road will be created and shared by the Forty Four Club, Osprey and the new Costa drive-thru.
Andrew Brazier, development consultant to Deeley Properties, said: “This showcases the versatility of the Deeley Group and being able to follow a development through from conception to completion of construction.
“We have worked in partnership with Ziran Land, Holt Commercial and Forty Four Club to put together an appealing package for Costa Coffee.
“The development will bring numerable benefits to the local community, with Forty Four Club investing the proceeds from the sale back into the club and its facilities. It is also creating jobs for local people and improving a well-loved community hub.
“We look forward to seeing the development completed later this year and serving customers in Wolverhampton.”
Holt Commercial, chartered surveyors with offices in Birmingham and Coventry, concluded an investment sale for the completed property to Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society. Wade and Partners acted on behalf of the investor.
David Allen, a Director of Holt Commercial, added: “We have seen significant growth and interest in this sector over the last few years and we expect that to continue both in the Midlands and around the country.
“Drive-thru restaurants have proved resilient over the Covid-19 period both in trading and investment terms. The junction of Birmngham New Road and Spring Road is a prime location for a development of this type and proved very attractive for the investor.
“We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with Deeley Properties and Ziran Land on further deals in the future.”
The three-storey scheme is being developed by Housing 21, a leading not-for-profit provider of Retirement Housing and Extra Care for older people of modest means. The organisation has appointed Midlands-based Deeley Construction as lead contractor.
The development, which is on land at Greenwood Way, is expected to be completed in December 2022 and has received funding from the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal.
Following completion, the scheme will provide 60 rented apartments and 20 shared ownership apartments for people over the age of 55. There will also be on-site communal facilities such as a café/bistro, hair salon and communal lounge for both residents and the local community.
It has been designed to be three linked blocks arranged around an internal courtyard, providing open, green space for residents.
The Extra Care scheme offers self-contained, private accommodation to support local older people and has been built with the changing needs associated with age in mind.
It has been designed to promote independent living in a community setting, with access to 24/7 on-site care if required. Residents are expected to start moving in from early 2023.
Deborah Hope, Head of Development at Housing 21, said: “We are delighted to bring our Extra Care offering to Didcot.
“We believe that generally there is a real need for this type of housing, but the current experience of living through the pandemic has highlighted the benefits of extra care even more. It enables people to continue to live independently, in their own safe space whilst receiving quality support both socially and with any of their care requirements.
“We are always mindful of how the construction process can help the local economy and schemes such as these have an economic benefit for the longer term as well creating a great place for the community to come together.”
The project was secured by Deeley Construction via the Homes England DPP3 (Delivery Partner Panel) framework and will be to BREEAM Very Good standard.
Martin Gallagher, managing director of Deeley Construction, added: “It’s fantastic to be strengthening our partnership with Housing 21 and supporting with the delivery of this vital scheme for people in Didcot and surrounding areas.
“This is our second scheme with Housing 21 but we have a great history in delivering Extra Care schemes that meet the needs of the local community.
“It’s great to see our team on site and we are working with community partners to ensure minimal disruption caused by work in the area.”
Emily Smith, Chair of the Oxfordshire Growth Board, said: “Affordable care developments like this make a huge difference to our communities – they allow older residents to downsize but still live independently and at the same time free up much needed larger homes for local families.
“This development in particular is very close to many new facilities such as a new supermarket, pub, community centre and good public transport links, on Great Western Park, and it’s exactly the kind of approach to new housing we should be looking at providing.
“The Growth Board has worked really effectively in partnership to allow this to happen with significant funding from the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal, along with developer contributions provided by Vale of White Horse District Council.”
Platform Housing Group – which has its headquarters in the Midlands – has unveiled 21 new homes in the village of Ryton-on-Dunsmore in Rugby. It is the social landlord’s latest development within Warwickshire, which offers a mixture of affordable homes for shared ownership and rent. These are made up of four 2 bedroom homes and four 3 bedroom homes for affordable rent and four 2 bedroom homes and nine 3 bedroom homes for shared ownership.
The Coal Yard Road scheme – which is costing £4,166,000.00 – has been made possible by grant funding from Homes England and also Group funds.
Those involved in the new development include the developer Deeley Construction, Waldeck Associates Limited, Robothams Architecture, Couch Consulting Engineers with support from Rugby Borough Council and Ryton-on-Dunsmore Parish Council.
Beth Carss, Project Manager at Platform Housing Group explained : “The new homes will form a high quality and sustainable affordable housing development that meets the needs of local people. Ensuring people have access to social housing is of vital importance in today’s world. We are delighted with the development and hope our customers will be very happy in their new homes.”
The site at Coal Yard Road was originally acquired in September 2018.
Edward Hudson, Business Development Manager at Deeley Construction said : “We are delighted with the outcome of the housing development in the village of Ryon-on-Dunsmore. Together with Platform Housing Group we have helped to make a real and positive difference to the lives of local customers and the communities they live in by redeveloping this former brownfield site.”
Platform Housing Group – which owns 46,000 homes in total – completed 1448 homes in 2019/20 (1,598 in 2018/19) at an investment of £258m (£228m in 2018/19). The Group also built more social rented homes – at a figure of 981 – during the past 2 years in England than any other provider, 523 in 2019/20, almost 33% of the total homes built.
Platform Housing Group’s operating area is from Herefordshire in the West to the Lincolnshire coast in the East, and from the Derbyshire Dales in the North to the Cotswolds in the South.
To register interest in a home please contact Platform Home Ownership at platformhomeownership.com or by calling 0345 450 3995.
For further information on the scheme please contact Beth Carss, Project Manager at Platform Housing Group on 07436 562247 or email her at Beth.Carss@Platformhg.com.
The company has always been a strong believer in breeding its own workforce through apprenticeships and training and it is a policy which has served the company extremely well through the years and continues to do so.
I should know. I started with the firm in 1988 (when I was, obviously, very young!) straight from school. I had not done as well as I wanted in my A Levels so therefore did not go straight to university but joined Deeley as I wanted to be a quantity surveyor.
I could not have made a better decision. In the intervening years I studied for my ONC in Building Studies at Coventry College and then my HNC at Coventry University before doing a degree in Quantity Surveying at what was then the University of Central England.
I then went on to earn my professional qualifications MRICS and MCIOB to complete my training.
Through all that time I was working at Deeley, gaining hands-on practical experience that, for me, made learning the theory so much more relatable.
I am not alone. Around 25 per cent of our workforce has been taken on through an apprenticeship or trainee programme. We find that it allows us to teach them the “Deeley Way” helping to shape what they learn to not only give them a thorough grounding but to also improve our all-round capability.
Our colleagues also enjoy working with younger people and passing on the skills they have learned while working for us, while apprentices tend to stay longer with an employer than other staff.
Currently 15 per cent of Deeley Group’s employees are in an apprenticeship or undergoing further learning programmes, so it is a trend which continues and impacts positively on every part of the group’s operations.
We currently have trainees on site, in accounts, and in marketing, while several of our senior team have come through the ranks after starting as trainees.
Even last year in the depths of the pandemic we took the bold step to recruit two new management trainees having previously engaged with their school and offering them work experience the year before. Only today, I have had a Teams meeting with Jack and Tom to review their progress – it so encouraging to see their passion to learn and progress through the company and it took me back to 1988!!
February 8 sees the start of National Apprenticeship Week, and while activities will be limited by Covid restrictions, it an important initiative – important for young people to realise what an apprenticeship or traineeship can lead to, and important for companies to tap into the rich vein of potential talent which can serve them well.
By Martin Gallagher, Managing Director, Deeley Construction
Built Environment Skills in Schools (BESS) recently launched the new virtual work experience platform – with traditional work experience likely to remain disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic for the foreseeable future.
Deeley Group has added a new task to the on-demand service which allows pupils to access real-world built environment tasks at any time.
By adding a task to the service, the company is supporting the Government’s BuildBackBetter commitment to showcase the industry to young people over the next decade.
The short task which can be completed from home showcases a project that demonstrates local redevelopment and the challenges of effective site management.
Edward Hudson, Business Development Manager at Deeley Group, said: “We were excited to create a 45-minute virtual work experience task that students all around the UK can complete in their own time and learn more about the work we do.
“We are so proud of the exciting and complex projects we deliver for our clients, but sometimes it can be difficult to explain what we do to young people.
“We work closely with a number of schools based near our construction sites and will be looking to engage with the easy and fun task we have creative, which we hope goes some way to painting a picture of what it is like to work in the construction industry.
“BESS has built a great platform to support their extensive network of schools, and it was a no-brainer for us to use our own in-house skills and expertise to develop a challenging student task.”
Kathryn Lennon-Johnson, founder of BESS, said: “It’s such an honour to have a respected business like Deeley Group supporting this initiative.
“Our on-demand virtual work experience platform allows young people to explore the construction industry at their own pace while ensuring they are completely safeguarded.
“Creating new housing and retail is such an important investment for communities, and allowing young people to be part of a real project helps to bring the industry to life.”
The BESS on-demand Virtual Work Experience platform is promoted into more than 4,000 UK senior schools and offers unrestricted use by students.
The BESS platform is available at www.virtualworkexperience.beskillsinschools.co.uk
The Deeley Group Platform is also available here Virtual Work Experience Task.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, paid a visit to the site of the former Dartmouth School in Wyken which is being re-developed by Coventry-based family firm the Deeley Group for leading housing provider Stonewater.
The Mayor met with Peter Deeley, managing director of the Deeley Group which is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, at the site and learned about the plans to build 39 new homes, including 23 affordable rented and 16 shared ownership properties.
It had been a redundant brownfield site for more than five years before Stonewater bought it from Coventry City Council.
On completion it will feature a mix of two, three and four-bedroom houses and provide vital housing to the local community.
Andy Street praised the firm’s plans to regenerate the site and that the project aligns perfectly with his region-wide championing of a brownfield first approach to housing.
He said: “The two key components for building new homes in our region are for developments to be ‘brownfield first’ and then also affordable to the people who live in those areas.
“The development in Coventry ticks both of those boxes and is an example of the great progress we are making regionally to meet the housing challenge.
“It was fascinating to speak with Peter Deeley and hear about the extensive work the company has done in this area of Coventry over the last 85 years and the strong relationship they have with the community here.
“I congratulate the Deeley Group and Stonewater for bringing this project to fruition and look forward to seeing it at its completion and serving the local community.”
Deeley Group has a history of development in the area, building St John Fisher Catholic Primary school in the 1950s and St John Fisher Church and Hall in the 1970s.
Peter Deeley, managing director of the Deeley Group, added: “We are giving this redundant brownfield site a new life and helping to provide crucial new housing for people in the locality too.
“It was a pleasure to welcome Andy to Tiverton Road to discuss our plans for the site and how that will support his housing programme across the West Midlands.
“We are working closely with Stonewater to deliver the development and hope Andy will return to visit when the project is completed.”
Matt Crucefix, director of development (South and West) at Stonewater, said: “There is a genuine need for more housing of this type in Coventry and it has been a pleasure working with the Deeley Group to bring this scheme to life.
“With every new development, we look for ways to invest in the local economy – by working with local contractors and suppliers – to ensure we add as much value to the community as possible.
“We’re delighted to hear Andy is pleased with the progress of this site so far and look forward to welcoming him to the completed scheme along with our new residents, later this year.”
PICTURE CAPTION: Andy Street and Peter Deeley.