Five students from Riverbank Academy joined contractors Deeley Construction, headquartered in Coventry, on-site as work neared completion of a new state-of-the-art teaching block to help the school cater for growing demand for its services.
Ryley Ilsley, Mason Bennett, Jamie Farndon, Filip Liviu Niculae and Opoku Gyamfi were all given an insight into working in the construction industry during work experience at the project.
The new building will feature three new classrooms, three bespoke outdoor soft play areas, two hygiene suites, an internal soft play area and the school’s first ever purpose-built fitness suite.
Students in the 16 plus programme at Riverbank Academy are given opportunities to explore potential career paths so they have a good idea of the profession they would like to work in when leaving the school.
Ryley Ilsley, aged 17 from Radford, said: “My experience on site was really good. Construction is definitely something that interests me and could be an option I consider for the future.
“I enjoyed visiting the site and learning about the finances and costs involved in a project like this. It will help the school a lot to have a building like this and it was great to be involved in the project.”
Jamie Farndon, aged 18 from Longford, said: “It was interesting to look around the building as it was being built and follow the work.
“While construction isn’t something I necessarily want to work in I took the opportunity to learn about marketing and everything else that surrounds a development and it was exciting to be involved.”
David Lisowski, Head Teacher at Riverbank Academy, said: “We pride ourselves on adding value where we can for our students, such as building independence and introducing our students to employment opportunities in preparation for leaving us.
“Deeley Construction has been very accommodating and proactive in offering us both on-site and virtual work experience opportunities for students.
“As a school we are now at more than 180 students and continue to grow to meet local and national demands for SEN school places. We approached Coventry City Council and they provided us with the funding to build this fantastic new building.
“It will benefit all staff and students at the school, providing more space for our existing educational provision and giving us further scope to enhance and expand our curriculum.”
Work is nearing completion on the new teaching block for Riverbank Academy and students and staff will be moving in from October.
Martin Gallagher, Managing Director of Deeley Construction, added: “We are always looking wherever we can to give young people a window into what it is like to work in our industry and developing the next generation of construction professionals.
“The students were a pleasure to have on-site and it was great for them to be able play a small part in the building of the new teaching block for their school.”
PICTURE CAPTION: From left to right – Steve Turner (Deeley Construction), David Lisowski (Riverbank Academy), Jamie Farndon, Martin Gallagher (Deeley Construction), Steve Adams (Deeley Construction), Ryan Ilsley and Marie Manusell-Stewart.
The Starley Sportive saw 470 riders register to saddle up on the day and raise more than £9,000 for local charities including The Myton Hospices, Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice and University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire Charity.
The event, which is organised by the Deeley Group, Coventry Road Club and Coventry City Council, was supported by more than 50 volunteers, including 23 City Hosts, and saw more than 20 local companies and organisations donate items, time and money to support the event.
This included JLN Plumbing & Heating which rescued five riders left stranded around the route due to mechanical breakdowns.
The Starley Sportive returned after a one year hiatus due to Covid-19 restrictions and riders enjoyed performances from local singers Richard Keogh, Vintage Celina Rose and Ruth Kelly, with Coventry artist Matt Casey creating a painting of professional cyclist Mark Cavendish for a prize draw too.
It raises funds for charities and local causes primarily through entry fees, but received a significant boost this year with more than 25 riders carrying out a sponsorship drive to raise extra funds.
Riders took in the glorious views and winding roads of the south Warwickshire countryside after setting off from the Deeley Group’s George House head office on Herald Avenue, Coventry.
The short 28.6 mile route took riders towards Hatton, while those attempting the long route headed past Snitterfield and towards Alcester before returning to George House.
And the epic 86.5 miles route saw riders venture as far as the northern-most part of the Cotswolds where riders faced a challenging hill climb.
Ian Court, Racing Secretary at Coventry Road Club, said: “It was great to see people getting back out on the road in such strong numbers. Everyone who took part can be proud of their effort after another impressive day of fundraising.
“We’d also like to thank everyone involved in organising and facilitating this year’s ride as the event could not have been such a success without them.
“Providing there are no interruptions next year, we are setting our sights on hosting our biggest ever event so keep an eye out for announcements.”
Edward Hudson, Business Development Manager at the Deeley Group, said: “It’s great to be reminded of how sport and cycling bring people together like this, especially after last year’s event had to be cancelled.
“We’d like to thank all of our sponsors for their support in making this year’s event such a success and hope to see all those who took part and many more at next year’s Starley Sportive.”
For more information visit www.starleysportive.co.uk
The leading Midlands developer, which is headquartered in Coventry, has been successful in submission to join the platform which will be the key tool for the delivery of Homes England’s housing-led developments.
The firm has been registered in both the small category, which is under 70 units, and the large category, which looks at developments over 70 units.
It means the developer will have the opportunity to bid and price for works across Homes England’s entire framework.
This covers regions including the East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, South East and South West.
Deeley Group had previously been named on the Homes and Communities Agency DPP3 framework, which enabled the group to secure contracts valued £11 million to deliver extra care facilities in Chipping Norton and Didcot for Housing 21.
The DPP3 framework also saw Deeley deliver a £6.6 million extra-care apartment scheme in Coventry.
In recent years, Deeley Group has delivered 600 new homes and worked with partners including Orbit Homes, Stonewater, Housing 21, and Platform Housing Group on affordable housing developments.
David Currie, Land and Partnerships Director at the Deeley Group, says by securing a place on the new dynamic purchasing system the firm will be able to deliver more affordable housing and healthcare to support communities across the country.
David said: “This is fantastic news for the firm and positions us perfectly to push forward with our future growth strategy to work with our partners to deliver vital affordable housing and healthcare facilities.
“The successful submission with Homes England will also enable Deeley Group to grow its geographical coverage across the wider Midlands and work in markets in the South East, East and South West of England.
“We have developed strong partnerships with housing associations in recent years and these partnerships allow us to deliver under Homes England’s new DPS.”
It is three miles from Melton Mowbray and will provide a mix of market sale, social rent and shared ownership homes – with the first homes set to be available in 2022.
Fifteen of the homes will be sold privately by Deeley Homes, with emh developing its first market sale units at the development.
More than two thirds of the houses will be classed as affordable homes and contribute to meeting key housing targets in the area.
Eleanor Deeley, Deputy Managing Director at Deeley Group, said: “This is a landmark moment for our development in partnership with emh near Asfordby.
“We’re excited to be launching 15 market sale homes alongside the two types of affordable homes and this approach means that The Willows will cater to a wide range of people in the community.
“Work started on site in February and the project remains on track to be able to welcome residents in 2022.
“The development has been designed with the needs of the area as its priority and will deliver much needed market sale homes and crucial affordable housing options for people living in the Melton Borough Council area.
“As part of the development we have been making a range of local infrastructure improvements and have enhanced the biodiversity of the site by creating wildflower meadows, bird boxes, bat boxes and hedgehog highways.”
Social housing and care organisation emh is a strategic partner of Homes England, giving it access to £172 million in grant funding. Under a flexible development programme, emh aims to deliver 600 new homes a year for the next five years.
Chris Jones, Executive Director of Development at emh, said: “Strong partnerships help us deliver a diverse range of housing across the East Midlands, and we are delighted that residents will soon be moving into our first homes completed with Deeley Homes.
“Every one of our developments has made a lasting impact in the local community, and we are excited to see these affordable rent and shared ownership homes contributing to meeting the housing aspirations of people in the Melton Borough Council area.”
PICTURE CAPTION: Chris Jones (emh) and Eleanor Deeley (Deeley Group) at The Willows.
Over 30 years ago, our Senior Quantity Surveyor Alison DuBock began a career in construction as a trainee, fresh out of uni. At first, Alison thought an industry ‘dominated by men’ would be a challenge, but it is a career path pursued nonetheless, even with her brother telling her that it is no career for a female. This was the eighties, after all, and construction has always changed with the times.
When thinking of a man’s industry, construction might be your first guess. The industry reputation has preceded it in various media tropes on our screens for decades, including in the Tom Hardy film Locke, and as Tim ‘The Tool Man’ Taylor in sitcom Home Improvement, which both present construction sites as male spaces heavily featuring common male stereotypes, with no girls to be seen.
If we are to mention stereotypes though, front-line work on building sites may not be seen as the most glamourous place for the more feminine lady, and besides the discussion of possibly introducing a hot pink high-vis jacket, stereotypes will be left out of this blog.
In 2021, women are as much a part of construction as men. At Deeley Group, we have female designers (architectural and structural), quantity surveyors, buyers, site managers, site engineers, and trainees, to name but a few. Although the gender gap regarding on-site trades has shortened in recent years, it is closing nonetheless; there is no reason a woman can’t be a bricklayer! is what Alison should’ve told her brother back in the day.
To combat pre-conceptions of women in construction, we have been holding talks in schools and FE colleges about the topic, exploring how enjoying making things in GCSE Technology classes is enough experience to start taking steps towards one day being a part of the construction of a skyscraper, and that girls should not be scared or intimidated by what’s believed to be the ‘male culture’ on sites, as there are now vast amounts of rules and regulations to enforce respect for everyone.
Construction is grassroot, by explaining that we are not a ‘dirty industry’ as blockbuster films would like to refer to us as, and showing that it can be attractive, we at Deeley are trying to improve notions in future generations. Alison has been inspiring young girls to pursue a career in our industry for some time now, giving lectures to school-aged kids, promoting traineeships to soon-to-be school leavers and telling them facts such as how construction changes everyday, that no matter which role you acquire no two days are the same and that pride is a large factor in our line of work; when you see a development you had a hand in coming together is what makes her feel immensely proud, and then being able to drive by a development years later and saying ‘that there is my building’ is the cherry on top.
Of course, I had to ask if she had a specific building in mind when referring to this, and she mentions the first building she worked on, the old AXA Assurance tower in Coventry city centre, a centrepiece for the town in which she put together the golden carpet walling wrapped around it (a first for the city), which is still in use today, over 3 decades later, as student accommodation.
Alison’s advice for girls considering possibly getting into the industry: confidence is key, give as good as you get, but on a respectful level. It is an endearing industry, as all you’ll mainly need to join is maths and English skills, but the most important skill you can have is common sense. Hollywood should make a film about that.
The Starley Sportive, which will be held on Sunday, September 19, has been backed by Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street – the man behind the Starley Network, a 500-mile cycling network for the region.
Andy Street joined representatives from organisers the Deeley Group and Coventry Road Club ahead of this year’s event.
Both the sportive and the cycling network are named in honour of the Starley family.
James Starley is known as the father of the bicycle industry, while John Kemp Starley widely considered the inventor of the modern bicycle. Both worked and lived in Coventry.
Organisers of the Starley Sportive are committed to encouraging more people to get on their bikes and take advantage of the Starley Network, which has seen cycle routes and cycle lanes pop up across the West Midlands.
They are also hoping to have a rider take on the route on a West Midlands Cycle Hire bicycle on September 19.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “We launched the Starley Network in August 2020 and cycling has a vital role in the future of our transport plans not only in Coventry but across the West Midlands.
“Alongside the creation of nearly 500 miles worth of routes, our ambitious cycling plans rest on encouraging more people to get out on two wheels and experience our region.
“Charity cycling events, such as the Starley Sportive here in Coventry, are essential to drive more people to embrace the cycling revolution.”
The Starley Sportive will set off from Deeley Group head office on Herald Avenue and riders will be raising money for The Myton Hospices, Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice and University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire Charity.
John Eburne, president of Coventry Road Club, said: “Cycling is fantastic for physical and mental wellbeing and we applaud Andy Street’s impact in making it easier for people across our city to take up cycling.
“While our event is focused on raising funds for our chosen charities, we do also place great importance on encouraging more people into the sport as part of our Coventry Road Club activities.”
Eleanor Deeley, deputy managing director of the Deeley Group, added: “As a company we are committed to promoting healthier lifestyles for our staff and within the communities in which we work.
“We would like to thank Andy Street for coming down to learn more about the event and we look forward to continuing to work with him and Coventry Road Club to shout about the benefits of cycling across the region.”
To find out more about the Starley Sportive visit www.starleysportive.co.uk/
PICTURE CAPTION: John Eburne, Eleanor Deeley and Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street.
Nightingale Gardens is at the 16-home Moreton Edge development being completed by Midlands-based Deeley Homes on the edge of the town.
The Cotswolds MP returned to the development which he last visited in December 2020 to learn about its success and reveal the new road name.
Moreton Edge has seen more than 80 per cent of its plots reserved off plan and the first home will be completed in autumn.
The ‘Nightingale Gardens’ name pays homage to the tireless efforts of staff in the NHS and healthcare professions over the course of the pandemic.
It also recognises the history of the brownfield site and the former hospital which stood there.
Each of the 16 homes at Moreton Edge are also named after significant local people and locations – ranging from benefactors of the Moreton Hospital and renowned poets, to hidden treasures of the Cotswolds such as Kiftsgate Court Gardens.
Sir Geoffrey, who had a career in the property industry before his 30-year political career, said: “The development has come on leaps and bounds since I last visited and it is fantastic to hear of the success it has seen at such an early stage.
“It is very fitting that Deeley Homes has named the road as a way of thanking the NHS for the incredible work it has done for all of us during the pandemic.
“The development will be a great addition to the community here in Moreton-in-Marsh and I look forward to continuing to follow its progress as the first homes are completed later this year.”
Deeley Homes is part of Midlands-based Deeley Group which previously built the Co-Op on Moreton-in-Marsh High Street in the 1980s.
Moreton Edge features three two-bedroom cottages at the front of the development, ranging through to a three-storey, five-bedroom house at the rear of the site overlooking open countryside.
Peter Hartill, Chairman of the Deeley Group, added: “Sir Geoffrey has been a great supporter of our Moreton Edge development and we would like to thank him for officially unveiling the Nightingale Gardens road name.
“We wanted to recognise the vital role the NHS has played in supporting the country throughout the last 16 months while also giving the road name a historic link to the former Moreton-in-Marsh hospital.
“These homes will be a great asset for the local community and the early demand we have seen has proved there is a desire for high-quality, stylish homes in the area.”
Moreton Edge is being marketed by Oliver Knight New Homes.
For more information on the development visit www.deeley.co.uk/homes/our-developments/moreton-edge/
PICTURE CAPTION: Left to right – Peter Hartill and Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP.
Moreton Edge is a development of 16 new homes on the site of the Moreton-in-Marsh hospital and has seen 13 properties reserved off-plan.
The development is being created by Deeley Homes, a division of Midlands-based firm the Deeley Group.
Moreton Edge features three two-bedroom cottages at the front of the development, ranging through to a, three-storey, five-bedroom house
The homes are built around a private garden and green space, with the rear of the site overlooking open Cotswold countryside.
All of the properties with more than two bedrooms have been reserved, with the first home set to be completed in autumn this year.
The development benefits from a nearby train line which goes directly from Moreton-in-Marsh to London Paddington in 90 minutes.
Moreton Edge’s early success points to a thriving property market in Cotswold location and workers from the City looking to move out of London to easily commutable areas.
Eleanor Deeley, Deputy Managing Director of the Deeley Group, said: “We’ve experienced a very encouraging start with this development and being over 80 per cent reserved at this stage demonstrates the strength of the market and the demand for high quality housing.
“This is an ideal location in the heart of one the finest Cotswold towns and we are ensuring these homes fully complement the surroundings.
“Cotswold locations are proving particularly popular with buyers at the moment and Moreton has the advantage of a direct train service to London.
“We have also benefitted from being a rare town centre development, with developments usually coming on the edge of a town and are thrilled that we’ve managed to maintain the ‘feel’ of a traditional Cotswold home.
“Deeley Homes is confident that those who have already reserved will be delighted with the high-quality, stylish new homes that we are creating at Moreton Edge and expect every plot to be reserved off-plan very soon.”
Moreton Edge is being marketed by Oliver Knight New Homes.
Oliver Knight added: “The interest in this development has been overwhelming, not just driven by people relocating to this beautiful Cotswold town but also due to being a small luxury development of just 16 luxury houses just behind the high street and close to the railway station with its direct train to London Paddington.”
For more information on the development and remaining properties visit www.deeley.co.uk/homes/our-developments/moreton-edge/