While the three-storey, £5 million extension project funded by Coventry City Council continues for the Ernesford Grange secondary school – a stone’s throw away, there is a huge biodiversity project underway.
Coventry City Council understands the importance of enhancing the environment and included it in the planning requirements for the development. This led to Deeley working with Leamington-based Arbscape Tree Surgeons to create a safe haven for wildlife.
Colin Sheasby, of Arbscape Tree Surgeons, speaks about the biodiversity works in our latest blog.
This is the first time we have worked with the Deeley Group on a project and we were brought together by Coventry City Council.
As part of the original planning process, it was required for there to be an ecological survey of the site. Swift Ecology prepared the report and recommended work which could be completed to enhance the biodiversity of the site.
First of all, the report found that the main school site wasn’t large enough to provide the necessary space to create a habitat. As a result, we have been working not only on the main school site, but also the playing field, which is part of the school boundary, and land adjacent to that field.
We have been on site now since January and we’re making significant progress. One of the key tasks we have been working on is the creation of a 300 sqm ‘tiny forest’.
To create the forest, we have been planting a range of native species in a very small space, then leaving it to the environment to let it develop.
It has been lovely to be able to invite students from the school to help us in the planting of the forest – and the idea is that in the future it will be a great educational resource for pupils.
We have used the Miyawaki methodology to create the forest, which centres around planting two to four trees per square metre, and then the forest will be self-sustaining.
On the main school site, we have planted 21 new scattered trees and four trees to enhance an existing hedgerow, with a further seven new trees planted on the additional field. The focus of this biodiversity project was to ensure the species chosen are native or wildlife friendly – meaning they can provide pollen, fruit or seeds for wildlife which inhabit and occupy the area.
Existing trees in the area have had bird and bat boxes added to them to encourage more wildlife while we are also creating an invertebrate hotel and log pile to foster habitats for invertebrates, amphibians, and small mammals.
This is an exciting addition and will be a significant educational resource for both Riverbank Academy and Ernesford Grange Community Academy on the site.
We’re also working to create in total 7,000 sqm of wildflower meadow across the main school site and additional field. The main school site has had 2,200 sqm of wildflower meadow sown, including Yellow Rattle and Cornfield Annuals seed mix.
We are also scrub planting, adding new hedges and planting blossom trees. The work will significantly enhance the site and the biodiverse wildlife corridor that links it to existing natural habitats.
However, one important part of any biodiversity programme of works is to also rid the existing environment of any threats to its long-term health.
That has seen control measures introduced on invasive, non-native species. We’re working to rid the area of Himalayan Cotoneaster and control the Himalayan Balsam, and the measures will hopefully stop the species spreading further and on to the school site.
We’ll be finishing our works along the river by August and then the plan is to monitor and manage the area for the next three years.
We’re very optimistic that the ecological impact and impact for wildlife in the area will be huge, and it is hoped all the different features will become a habitat for everything from bats and badgers to invertebrates and birds to forage and nest.
Nuneaton Men and Women in Sheds, which currently has 20 members and is continuing to grow, has officially opened its new shed at The Bermuda Phoenix Community Centre.
Cllr Rob Tromans, Mayor of Nuneaton and Bedworth, joined Marcus Jones MP to open the shed, which relocated from George Eliot Hospital.
People can become isolated after retiring and the group provides a safe environment for men and women to share their woodwork skills, continue to develop their skills and meet with like-minded individuals.
Eight of the ‘shedders’ rebuilt the shed after it was dismantled and grant funding has enabled the group to invest in new equipment for the shed.
Nearby businesses Subcon Laser Cutting and Saputo Dairy UK donated resources and funding to support the new shed.
The group also received support from The Bermuda Phoenix Community Centre and Peter Deeley, joint managing director of the Deeley Group which built the community centre in 2013.
Marcus Jones MP said: “I am very pleased to be here at the opening of the new shed for Nuneaton’s Men and Women in Sheds group.
“In a remarkable short space of time, this initiative which started life in Australia, has expanded and established deep roots in Nuneaton.
“The volunteers have themselves created their splendid new home here at Bermuda and I have no doubt it will enable them to continue to lend their phenomenal skills to many different local projects. I have seen many of the items they have made and placed around George Eliot Hospital and elsewhere in schools and other community settings and, without exception, they have been well-made, practical and much appreciated.
“I wish the group every success for the future and wish all current and future members the very best.”
Cllr Rob Tromans, Mayor of Nuneaton and Bedworth, was joined by Cllr Mandy Tromans to cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony.
Cllr Tromans said: “The pandemic has made people come together and think more about the importance of community and wellbeing.
“The shedders have done a marvellous job to maintain relationships between their members, they have come out the other side and built this fantastic place for themselves.
“We have to thank everyone that has shown their support for this project.”
Representatives from George Eliot Hospital attended the opening ceremony and were joined by members of the group, local businesses and charities from Nuneaton.
Tony Cole, Chair of Nuneaton Men and Women in Sheds, added: “We’re happy to have found a new home here at Bermuda Phoenix Community Centre and would like to thank George Eliot Hospital for all of its support.
“Our shedders have rebuilt the shed themselves and that was quite the challenge for eight men all over 60! We couldn’t have done it without the support from Subcon Laser and Saputo Dairy.
“The group is great for the mental health of our members, its good comradery – even if people just come and have a cup of tea with us. When restrictions allowed, the meetings our group had in lockdown kept spirits alive and helped people through tough times.
“We would like to thank Marcus Jones and the Mayor for joining us for the official opening and hope our new shed will enable the group to support more people in the community.”
Peter Deeley, Joint Managing Director of the Deeley Group, said: “We would like to congratulate Nuneaton Men and Women in Sheds on its wonderful new home and wish them every success as they continue to support people in Nuneaton.
“We have been working with the Bermuda Phoenix Community Centre since we built it. It has grown into a very successful and valued asset in the community, and the addition of Nuneaton Men and Women in Sheds further strengthens its community offer.”
To find out more about Nuneaton Men and Women in Sheds contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the group’s Facebook page.
The scheme in Dawley Road is scheduled to open in early 2024 and will offer residents a range of one- and two-bedroom apartments together with a variety of communal facilities.
The scheme is being delivered by Housing 21, a national leading provider of Retirement Living and Extra Care, in partnership with Telford and Wrekin Council and Midlands-based Deeley Construction.
Debbie Hope, Head of Development for Housing 21, commented: “There is a clear need for suitable housing for older people in Telford and we are hopeful that this is the first in a new pipeline of projects.
Telford and Wrekin Council was particularly supportive when getting this scheme in to contract and we will continue to work together to bring the property to life.
These apartments will provide a fantastic home for our future residents and will have a truly transformational impact for those people on a day-to-day basis.”
Housing 21 currently manage Heywood Lonsdale Court, a Retirement Living scheme in Wellington, but this new – as yet unnamed development will be their first Extra Care scheme in Telford.
Supported by a Homes England grant of £4.55m, the development will comprise of 20 one-bedroom and 50 two-bedroom apartments. Thirty of the two-bedroom apartments will be dedicated for social rent, with the remainder available for shared-ownership.
Future residents can look forward to benefitting from a range of communal facilities including a residents’ lounge, a café/bistro and communal gardens. The café/bistro and an on-site hair salon will also be available for use by the wider local community.
Eleanor Deeley, Joint Managing Director at Deeley Group, said: “The development at Dawley Road marks the latest in our partnership with Housing 21, following other developments at Chipping Norton and Didcot.
“As a business we are targeting Net Zero status by 2036, therefore we’re excited to be working with Housing 21 on its first all-electric building which will help lower energy usage and reduce carbon emissions.
“As well as supporting Housing 21 with their Environmental and Sustainability targets we have the expertise in delivering innovative extra care facilities of this type and will be working with our partners to create a facility that caters for the housing needs of older people in Telford.”
CAPTION: CGI exterior image of the new scheme in Dawley Road, Telford
Jack McQuillan has been working for Deeley Construction for two years, starting with the firm at the age of 16.
In recent months Jack has completed work on his first scheme at Tiverton Road, a scheme of 39 affordable homes for Stonewater.
In our latest blog, he reflects on his development during the project and his first two years as a trainee site manager.
I can trace my time back with Deeley Construction to a brief work experience placement I did in school. Undertaking that work placement was one of the best decisions I have made.
While my family have always been involved and worked in construction, it wasn’t until I completed my placement at Deeley that I realised the variety of roles involved in a construction, development or property business.
From that week of experience, I worked with near enough every department in the firm. This included spending days on site, understanding the financial processes with the accounts team and getting a chance to speak with the management team too.
I felt after that placement I had a really good understanding of the company, so when the opportunity arose to join the business as a management trainee I jumped at the chance.
The management trainee role saw me given more chance to experience parts of the business, alongside my fellow trainee Tom Jeffrey. The office work was insightful, but for me it was the work on-site which appealed the most.
That led me to supporting Eamonn Gorman, site manager, on the Tiverton Road development for site manager. I had very limited experience of being on a construction site at this time, so to be supporting a multi-million-pound development at the age of 17 was a great chance to learn.
That’s where Deeley has really helped me to develop at such a quick pace. Over the course of the 18 months on-site at Tiverton Road, I improved in all aspects of work. I was given key tasks critical to the delivery of the project and it was my responsibility to ensure I had full knowledge of the job.
Like every job, there were hurdles to overcome and challenges to work through. The site team had to work hard and adapt, and it was interesting for me to see how important adaptability can be on site.
One of the big takeaways for me from that first project was the development of my people skills. You meet lots of different people in this business, people from different walks of life – and the way you deal with, for example, clients and the team on site is completely different.
I’ve now moved onto the Ernesford Grange & Riverbank Academy project, which is a completely different job. It’s a live-site with the school still open and we’re working with traditional steel frame rather than offsite manufactured timber frame houses.
However, the principles are still the same – it all comes down to communications and understanding how to work with and speak to different people.
Away from site, Deeley is giving myself and Tom plenty of opportunity to develop and gain important qualifications too.
We are studying at Rugby College and started out on a Level 3 course. Because of what we had been learning on the job and the experience we had, the tutors pushed us an academic year ahead.
Ahead of assessments, I’ve been able to compare my site management experience with Tom’s as a quantity surveyor. We’re now completing a HNC in Construction and the Built Environment and also studying for the HND.
To make sure we are getting the best results we can in our assessments, time management is crucial. It’s all about finding that balance, but it’s something I’ve took to and that time management skill is useful back on-site too.
I think I’m continuing to improve and develop on site, I’m still only 18 and it’s not common for people my age to be carrying out some of the roles I do.
We are a real family here at Deeley, you can see how far some of the trainees in the firm have gone and I’m hoping to go as high as I can.
For young people in schools and colleges, construction definitely needs to be better promoted as an industry to pursue a career in.
I was lucky that my career advisor pointed me in the direction of Deeley, due to the school’s links with the business.
If we can encourage more young people to come into construction that can only be a good thing for the industry. I’m only in the formative years of my career, but these first two years have been brilliant and I’m looking forward to continuing my development with the business.
Exemplar Health Care is one of the UK’s leading providers of specialist nursing care that focuses on maximising independence and empowering those living with complex needs to live as fulfilled lives as possible. Its new home, Shire Oaks Court, located on Brownhills Road in Walsall, will be its third in the West Midlands area, and is due to open early 2023 – creating 100 jobs for the local area.
Exemplar Health Care has worked closely with health and social care authorities in the area and hopes to bring this one-of-a-kind facility to Walsall to enable local people who are living with complex needs, or, have suffered an accident to receive the specialist care that they need close to their homes and loved ones.
The home will be equipped top-to-bottom to meet the needs of its new residents. Each of the 30 bedrooms will come with an en-suite wet room, and the building will feature high quality, spacious communal spaces, sensory and therapy rooms and landscaped gardens, for residents and visitors to enjoy.
Charlotte Lloyd, Director of Commissioning at Exemplar Health Care, said: “We’re pleased to announce we are investing in a 30-bed specialist care home for the Walsall area.
“This community-based home will provide person-centered care and rehabilitation that focuses on maximising independence, building everyday living skills, and empowering people to live as fulfilled lives as possible.
“It is extremely rewarding to be able to support 30 local people with complex health needs and to provide over 100 stable and local jobs. As well as providing employment opportunities, there are plans in place to help the new care home become part of the local community. It’s our ambition for the home to be a place where we host events, and where our residents can be part of the community, whether through work placements, local events or volunteering.”
Midlands-based Deeley Construction has been appointed to develop the building located on Brownhill Road.
Martin Gallagher, Managing Director of Deeley Construction, said: “It’s fantastic to see our team on site and starting work to create a care home which will be an important asset for the local community.
“This is our first development with Exemplar Health Care and it sees the continued delivery of our healthcare development expertise across the Midlands.
“We have a strong track record of creating facilities that cater for adults with complex needs and we look forward to working in partnership with Exemplar Health Care on this development in Walsall.”
Shire Oaks Court will be situated on Brownhill Road, Walsall.
LiveBuzz – which provides software and digital services for event organisers around the globe – is moving into a new base at George House on Coventry Business Park thanks to a deal concluded by commercial property experts Bromwich Hardy.
LiveBuzz will take over ground floor offices in the south wing of the showcase building on a six-year lease under the deal, concluded by Bromwich Hardy founding partner Tom Bromwich.
Tom, who acted for landlord the Deeley Group, said the deal showed the value of modern, state-of-the-art office space even in the wake of the pandemic.
“These are really first-class premises, designed and built to the highest standard and home to the Deeley Group themselves, who have established an enviable reputation for quality over more than 80 years as a family-owned construction and development business.
“Despite the changes in working habits which the pandemic has brought, there is still a strong demand for accommodation of the highest calibre which reflects the integrity and ambition of the companies involved.
“We are delighted to have been able to secure this deal and look forward to seeing LiveBuzz go from strength to strength in their new home.”
Eleanor Deeley, Deeley Group joint managing director, said: “It is a pleasure to have been able to provide LiveBuzz with the high-quality space that its expanding business needs to retain its staff and grow further.”
Sam Corbett, from LiveBuzz, said: “We are delighted to be moving into George House which will meet our needs for years to come as we continue to grow. The modern, visually stunning and sustainable offices perfectly represent our brand and values.”