The site is the first of over 150 charging hubs being delivered across the UK by Osprey Charging in a £75 million programme to eliminate charging anxiety ahead of the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars.
Osprey worked closely with Deeley Construction, who delivered the new Costa Coffee site at which the hub is located, and Connect It Utility Services, who ensured the high power charging installation was built and energised on time and to high quality.
EV uptake in the Midlands is expected to skyrocket over the next decade, with a report from Midlands Connect projecting the number of registered EVs in the Midlands – currently at around 45,000 – to reach 1.7 million by 2030 – an increase of over 3,000%. This huge growth in EV adoption will require a sixfold increase in the number of EV charging points to meet demand for charging.
Other factors – such as Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone introduced in June 2021 to tackle air pollution – are accelerating this trend, encouraging drivers in the region to move away from old polluting petrol and diesel vehicles to electric alternatives. Public EV charging infrastructure, such as Osprey’s new Wolverhampton hub, will help ensure that the transition to EVs in the region is both rapid and smooth.
Ian Johnston, CEO of Osprey Charging, said: “Whether it’s gigafactories, EV manufacturing or Clean Air Zones, The West Midlands is leading the way on low carbon transport, cementing its role at the heart of the UK’s green industrial revolution.
“The opening of our high-powered charging hub in Wolverhampton – the first of 10 in construction this year – once again puts the region at the leading edge of innovation, marking a step-change in the UK’s EV infrastructure as we accelerate towards mass adoption of EVs. The site, which deploys multiple high-powered chargers, will provide a blueprint for hundreds more right across the UK, meaning no waiting times for drivers and an overall outstanding customer experience.
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The site is a major boost to regional EV charging infrastructure, hosting four high power rapid chargers that can add up to 100 miles of charge in just 10 minutes. Located adjacent to the A463, the hub will serve major transport routes in the area that see more than 130,000 vehicles pass by daily, and has a Costa Coffee on-site, allowing drivers to relax and make use of their facilities while they charge.
Martin Gallagher, Managing Director of Deeley Construction, said: “As a company we have achieved carbon neutral status and are targeting net zero by 2036. Therefore, it is vital to us that we include sustainable features in all of our developments.
“Electric vehicles are at the heart of the drive to reduce carbon emissions and the high-power charging hub at the new Costa Coffee site will make it easier and more accessible for drivers in the region to go electric, and as a result reduce their carbon footprints.”
Martin Pitt, local EV driver, said: “I switched to an EV just over two years ago and haven’t looked back since – they are cheap to run, great to drive and importantly, cause much less harm to the environment than petrol and diesel vehicles. However, availability and ease of charging puts a lot of people off making the switch.
“Osprey’s new hub in Wolverhampton is great news for drivers in the Midlands and those en route. The sooner we have more projects like this, the better.”
UK-first technology deployed in Wolverhampton a “game-changer” for EV charging
Osprey’s Wolverhampton hub is the first site in the UK deploy a game-changing new technology – Kempower – which is enabling more locations than ever before to host multiple high-powered chargers on a single site.
Kempower chargers work together to optimise charging across multiple vehicles when more than one EV is plugged in. They allow power to be distributed based on demand, which varies significantly between individual vehicles due to the maximum charging rate of each model and its battery percentage at the point of charge.
This can reduce waiting times significantly, maximising the speed and availability of chargers for drivers, and increasing consumer footfall for the landowners hosting the hubs.
The technology also means grid connections can be optimised, allowing multiple high-power chargers to be installed per site and offering higher charging speeds without the need for more grid power. The physical footprint of each charger is also reduced by 74%, allowing space for more chargers, improving accessibility and reducing their visual impact to support planning permission.
Osprey’s £75 million UK-wide EV charging hub rollout will see a total of 1,500 150-175KW rapid chargers installed across 150 sites nationwide over the next four years. Each hub will be located on strategic A-roads and adjacent to motorways, hosting up to 12 high powered chargers.
Deeley Construction are currently leading on phase two of the Ernesford Grange School construction works and were keen to support some of the local community groups and projects in the neighbourhood to help in the run up to the festive season.
The Council’s Community Resilience Team supported Deeley Construction by linking them into some of the local community organisations in the area, including St John the Divine.
Deeley Construction had supported the local church earlier in the year with a financial contribution towards their Easter hampers for children and families and were keen to offer some support again this Christmas after seeing their great efforts previously and have donated a further £250.
St John the Divine have been supporting hundreds of local families with their school holiday activities alongside many other activities and events they host for the community. This Christmas they are again giving out food hampers to those families in need, alongside holding a live Nativity with animals outside the church for everyone to enjoy. The church has provided dinners to 678 people this Christmas and given hampers to 70 as part of the event.
Reverend Pam Howell, St John the Divine Church, said: “We are very grateful to Deeley Construction for their very kind donation towards the cost of food hampers we will be providing to local families in need this Christmas. This will enable families to be able to celebrate Christmas dinner without taking on debts they cannot afford to repay.
“It also helps towards the cost of the Christmas Outdoor Nativity we are holding on 21 December, when families will act out the Nativity outside with a live camel, donkey, and sheep, and receive catered food to takeaway – we expect around 500 people to attend across the day in safe socially distanced time slots.”
Edward Hudson, Deeley Construction’s Business Development Manager, said: “St John the Divine and the Council are clearly doing a great job not only supporting the community by providing some great festive entertainment but also raising interest in the environment, so we were only too happy to help them again.
“Our work with St John the Divine is just one element of the community engagement we have undertaken during the construction at a local project. Using a local contractor greatly benefits local communities – on the local project 17 per cent of the budget has been committed to social value in the local community.”
Cllr John Mutton, ward councillor in the Binley and Willenhall area, added: “I’m really pleased to see how this kind donation can do so much to help the area enjoy a safe, fun Christmas and can help ease the pressure a little on people struggling over the festive season.”
Cllr David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said: “The value of generous donations like this from Deeley Construction is enormous. St John the Divine provides a lot of support in the area and this donation just re-enforces the partnership working which benefits so many.”
Photo left to right; Cllr Welsh, Rev Charlotte Jackson- St John the Divine, Cllr Mutton, Rev Pam Howell – St John the Divine, Dagmer Dias- St John the Divine Families Worker, Edward Hudson – Deeley Construction, Sharon Thomas- Community Resilience Team, Cllr Lakha
Midlands-based Deeley Construction, which is headquartered in Coventry, has started work on the major £5 million extension project at Ernesford Grange Community Academy.
A steel frame structure has now been erected and work is expected to be completed on the new building by September 2022. It will be ready for students to use by the next academic year.
It will create new teaching space and classrooms, with the work at Ernesford Grange Academy resulting in around 180 new places for potential students.
The school is part of the Sidney Stringer Multi Academy Trust which also includes the adjoining Riverbank Academy, a SEN school.
The three-storey expansion is phase two of a project which has already seen Deeley Construction build a state-of-the-art extension for Riverbank Academy.
Steve Turner, Construction Director at Deeley Construction, said: “After the hugely successful first phase of development at the site on Princethorpe Way, we are now making great progress on the second phase.
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“Deeley Construction has a proud history dating back 70 years of developing schools in Coventry and this new unit at Ernesford Grange Community Academy will help to create vital school places in this area of the city.
“The new expansion will provide high-quality educational facilities for staff and students that meet the needs of modern day education.
“Our team on site are carrying out the project with minimal disruption to the students attending the school on a day-to-day basis and we will be working with the school to provide valuable work experience opportunities on site over the course of the build.”
Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change said: “I’m pleased that a local company has been busy working to create a new school facility. Not only will there be some great new classrooms – there will also be theatre available for community use.
“Biodiversity and sustainability also sit at the heart of this work and the addition of a mini forest is really rather unique.”
Councillor Dr Kindy Sandhu, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “The opening of these new teaching facilities will not just be great news for the staff and students at Ernesford Grange, it will be great news for Coventry, as the young people who study in these classrooms will hopefully go on to take our city forward.
“The lessons they learn here and the sense of pride and responsibility they take in their new facilities will be building blocks for their future. I want to thank everyone for their hard work and efforts that have gone into such a fantastic project”.
PICTURE CAPTION: From left to right – Mark Ward (Deeley Construction), Denise Burrows (Headteacher, Ernesford Grange Community Academy) and Steve Turner
Whitnash Mayor, Cllr Adrian Barton, in the presence of honoured guests including the Mayors of Kenilworth, Warwick, and Leamington, leader of Warwick District Council, Andrew Day, chairman of Warwick District Council, Cllr Neale Murphy, joint project leader, Cllr Judy Falp, representatives from Deeley Construction, and members of the Library Service all attended the opening ceremony.
The building of the much-anticipated £2.5 million Civic Centre and Library for Whitnash is complete. The new centre includes a multi-use sports hall, the Whitnash Library, a brand-new community café, a meeting /conference room, and offices for Whitnash Town Council.
Bringing all these facilities together under one roof represents a major improvement for the town, and the new sports hall is significantly larger than the old community centre hall, which has served the town since the mid-1970s.
This project represents a major investment and is built on years of hard work, vision and teamwork needed to create a modern Civic Centre and Library fit for the future of a growing and changing town.
Whitnash was the first town in the district to have its own Neighbourhood Plan approved and adopted. This was thanks largely to long term Whitnash Residents Association District councillor, Judy Falp, who chaired the Neighbourhood Plan working group of town councillors and local residents, together with a consulting company, who developed the detail of the plan. The plan was then put to a local referendum and approved.
One of the main priorities to come out of the Neighbourhood Plan was the need for a new community centre and library. The existing community centre was deemed to be past its use-by date, and there was concern that the existing library could be forced to close in the longer term. The current library also housed the Town Council office facilities, and so the council would also have had to relocate in the event of the library closing.
Once the plan had been approved, the Town Council set about investigating what would be needed to make the aspiration for a new community centre a reality. A working group was set up, led by Cllrs Tony Heath and Judy Falp, that involved town councillors, the council office team, representatives of Warwick District Council, Warwickshire County Council, other local community groups, and consultants ATI Projects, to try to define what the project might look like, and how much it was likely to cost.
This was a project very close to Cllr Tony Heath’s heart. As a long term Whitnash councillor and resident, as well as being one of the founding members of the Whitnash Residents Association, Tony had long had an ambition to see the aging 1970s community centre replaced with something better for the future. He spoke about it during his time as Whitnash Mayor as long ago as 2001/2.
The working group, together with architects Bailey Garner, came up with several schemes, one of which was selected to be the final design of building. The scheme has been funded thanks to contributions from Warwick District Council, Sport England, Warwickshire Country Council and also a public works loan. An online crowdfunding initiative raised an additional £20k for external elements such as landscaping, parking, and bike racks etc.
In his speech before cutting the ribbon, Cllr Adrian Barton paid tribute to all those who had been involved, especially his colleague and mentor Tony Heath, who sadly passed away a couple of months ago, and never got to see the fruits of his labour over many years finally finished.
Cllr Barton also thanked the many organisations that had been involved in helping to make the project a reality, including Warwick District Council, Warwickshire County Council, and developers Deeley Construction. He also paid tribute to the Whitnash Town Council office staff, who had been involved in the project from start to finish, and also to Cllr Judy Falp, who along with Tony Heath, had worked so tirelessly on the project for so many years.
Cllr Judy Falp then spoke to pay tribute to former Whitnash councillor, Bernard Kirton, who sadly passed away last year. Bernard had been a formidable force in Whitnash over several decades, setting up the Whitnash Ratepayers Association (latterly the Whitnash Residents Association) with Tony Heath following a fall out with the local Labour Party in the 1970s. She went on to mention that Bernard arrived in Whitnash in the 1960s, and was met by a town with very few, if any, facilities. Over the years, he fought to improve facilities, and the opening of the new Civic Centre and Library is a continuation of that drive and passion for the town.
Bernard Kirton is honoured in the new Civic Centre by having the new meeting/conference room named after him.
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Cllr Falp unveiled the plaque on the door to the room, together with Bernard’s son, Mark.
Before the dignitaries and public were allowed to look around the new building, Cllr Barton had one more duty to perform. With Tony Heath’s family present, Cllr Barton spoke again about Cllr Heath’s involvement in the project, and unveiled a plaque over the door to the new community hall itself, which named the hall after Cllr Heath as a recognition of all the work he had done to make the project happen.
The sports hall has two badminton courts for hire, but is also available to hire as a space for classes and groups, and for hosting shows, plays and gigs. Many local exercise groups have already signed up to hire the hall. The meeting room will also be available for hire to the public and will be suitable for hosting meetings, team building, interviews or hot desking. The room has a large screen to show presentations, and will have a high-speed internet connection.
Independent cafe operator Blenz Café will be operating the new café within the Civic Centre building. This is a brand-new venture for Charlotte, a local resident, who is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring her enterprise to life. She will be serving speciality coffee, tea and soft drinks, and sourdough toasties along with pastries and cakes.
As part of the project, the two football pitches and rugby pitch at Acre Close Park have been reseeded and renovated, although these will not be available until next year once they have been established. The skate ramp has also been moved and improved, along with the Whitnash wheel of fitness outdoor exercise equipment. Whitnash Town Council are also working to secure a grant to reinstate the measured mile at Washbourne Fields in the near future.
To can also view time-lapse photography showing how the build progressed and for more information visit www.whitnashciviccentre.uk
Robert Wright Drive can be found on a new housing scheme in Wyken being delivered by Deeley Group’s Affordable Living division.
The development is being delivered in partnership with housing provider Stonewater and will see the construction of 39 affordable new homes on Tiverton Road.
Robert was born in Hillfields in 1951 and ordained as Roman Catholic Priest in 1977. He served in Bicester, Nuneaton, Redditch and as Chaplain to the West Indian community in Birmingham, before returning to his home city of Coventry as Parish Priest of St John Fisher in Wyken in 1995.
In his time at St John Fisher he ministered at St John Fisher and St Gregory primary schools and worked closely with children at Cardinal Wiseman School, as part of his work with the Romero Academy.
He was a lifelong Coventry City fan and a season ticket holder for many years, attending home games when his parish commitments would allow. He ensured the church played a key role in the community and the church was a caring, inclusive and supportive place to worship and learn.
Liz Carr, Robert’s sister and a former teacher at St Augustine’s School, said: “We were delighted to hear that a road was being named after Rob, especially given its proximity to St. John Fisher‘s Church, his home for 25 years.
“He spent many happy years there, serving his parish and the local community, devoting his life to his ministry.
“He was especially happy given that Coventry was his home town, and being a lifelong supporter of Coventry City, he could easily make the home games and get back for Saturday evening mass.
“Whilst he would have been embarrassed at the thought of a road being named after him, his family and friends are really proud, as it is testimony to his hard work and commitment, and the regard he is held in, by all those who knew him.”
Peter Deeley, managing director of Deeley Group, added: “We have been working in the community here in Wyken for many years and for the last quarter of a century Father Bob has been right at the heart of that community.
“It is fitting and rightful honour for a great man who had such a profound impact on those he met and supported during his life. We hope that he would be supportive of our development at Tiverton Road and the creation of new affordable homes for the community which held him in such high regard.”
The new development at Tiverton Road will comprise of 23 affordable rented and 16 shared ownership properties, which will be a mix of two, three and four-bedroom homes.
Matt Crucefix, Director of Development (South and West) at Stonewater, said: “Building new homes should be centred around tackling local housing demand, whilst also enabling new residents to embed themselves within the existing community and its history.
“Naming one of the development’s roads after this highly respected individual is not only a great way to continue celebrating his work in the area but also presents an exciting opportunity for community building with both new and existing residents.”