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  • BLOG: Reflecting on lessons learned in my first development

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  • Construction starts on specialist care home in Walsall

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  • Award-winning company lands new offices

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  • BLOG: Reflecting on lessons learned in my first development

    By Jack McQuillan, Trainee Site Manager

    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.

     

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  • Construction starts on specialist care home in Walsall

    Specialist care provider, Exemplar Health Care, has started construction for its new £4M specialist care home in Walsall, West Midlands.

    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.                                  

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  • Award-winning company lands new offices

    An award-winning company which provides high-tech support to event organisers is on the move to new offices in Coventry.

    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.”

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  • Work starts on £4.4 million regional office for Bloor Homes

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  • BLOG: Ready to respond to changing retails patterns

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  • National award for Woodside Care Village

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  • Work starts on £4.4 million regional office for Bloor Homes

    Construction work to create a new £4.4 million regional office for a national housebuilder in Tewkesbury is underway.

    Midlands-based Deeley Construction has started work on Bloor Homes’ new purpose-built 18,000 sq ft regional office, replacing the company’s Furrowfield Park office – which has been its home for the last 14 years.

    Deeley Construction, which is headquartered in Coventry, is completing the two-storey development to BREEAM ‘Very Good’ status.

    Plans include a belt of trees and a native species hedgerow being planted on the southern side of the development, with 66 car-parking spaces, with 30% of these offering EV charging points.

    The new office will facilitate the growth of the Bloor Homes workforce and create further job opportunities in the Tewkesbury Borough over the next five years.

    Steve Roberts, Regional Managing Director at Bloor Homes, said: “Bloor has successfully operated from our Furrowfield Park premises for over 14 years, during which time we have delivered a number of high-quality residential developments within the Western region as a whole and Tewkesbury Borough in particular.

    “However, we have now outgrown our current premises and even with the introduction of flexible working arrangements, the constrained office space and car-parking limitations are preventing future growth and job creation.

    “The move will also provide a regional training centre for our site-based staff.

    “It’s important to us that we continue to contribute to the local economy and its economic wellbeing – and building our new regional office in the Tewkesbury Borough allows us to do just that.

    “Many of our office-based staff are local residents and through our other activities in the area we in-directly support a large number of jobs in the local construction sector and associated supply chain.

    “The location of our new office will allow more employees to find alternative methods of travel due to the reduced commute distance and flexible-working means that arrivals and departure times for staff are staggered, subsequently reducing the amount of peak-time traffic.”

    Steve Turner, Construction Director at Deeley Construction, added: “We are pleased to have started work on-site for this sustainable new office for one of the UK’s largest housebuilders.

    “We are using our internal expertise and external energy consultants to deliver this as a low-carbon facility, which will support both Deeley Group and Bloor Homes in reaching net zero carbon targets.

    “Our on-site team are taking appropriate measure to ensure limited disruption to the nearby residents and the project is targeted for completion in October 2022.”

     

    PICTURE CAPTION: From left to right – Eamonn Gorman (Deeley Construction), Jonathan Wood (Stoas Architects), Steve Roberts (Bloor Homes Western MD), Steve Turner (Deeley Construction), Arat Patel (Stoas Architects) and Keith Warburton (MDA Consulting Ltd).

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  • BLOG: Ready to respond to changing retails patterns

    Covid has had many impacts on various elements of society that will continue long after the threat from the virus has passed – and none more so than retail patterns.

    Clearly, to assign the changes in our shopping habit purely to Covid, would be disingenuous.

    Significant change in the world of retail was underway long before we first heard of the emergence of the virus, but, if nothing more, it has accelerated a trend that was emerging strongly.

    The decline of the High Street has run in parallel with the rise of out of town shopping. There are a number of factors for that.

    Firstly, as inflationary pressures continue to grow and household incomes are squeezed, people tend to spend a higher proportion of their income on the essentials, and less on leisure shopping.

    Out of town developments cater more for that sort of retail with a high presence of food, carpets, furniture, technology and DIY.

    City centre retails needs a number of things to happen in terms of planning and an overhaul of the rating system for it to revitalise and be lifted from the doldrums.

    There needs to be a fresh approach on planning to encourage more change of use to residential and increase footfall. It needs to be far more flexible if we are to see real change, and that is what is needed.

    Locally, for example, there is a plan in Leamington – a town which to an extent bucks this trend – to convert a former M&S store into offices and potentially bring more than 200 workers into the town centre. That will be a pattern across the country.

    We are almost getting to a stage where town centre retail value has dropped to a point – sometimes by 60-70 per cent – to enable that regeneration to happen.

    The attitude has to change from being one of the institutional investor who wants 25 years rent from a large anchor store to a more active management which drives more place-making and shows an increased entrepreneurial and flexible approach.

    You find that that happening in parts of London and, locally, with FarGo Village in Coventry – a more vibrant and changing scene. Social patterns are changing and retail has to keep pace. Young people don’t always want to own a car and go to a department store, but they want to drink good coffee, practice yoga, be vegan and play crazy golf.

    There is a constant search for the next experience, which is why pop-ups do so well, and why there are now specialist agencies advising investors and large institutional funders in how they can adjust to meet the trends.

    That means we may well end up with a model that has two very distinct ends. The one is almost wholly leisure and experiential, while the other – mostly out of town – is very essential and efficient.

    We have done a great deal of work in the latter end of the market and have recently built Sofology and Lidl stores in Birmingham. Quite often now, a food store is the anchor of a wider development which contains those essentials, and those larger units with car parking will be more appealing to those who remain Covid cautious.

    We have a track record in creating out-of-town stores across the country and we are expecting that more conversion work will come through the pipeline

    The cost of that is always quite high so value levels still have to fall to make it work economically, but that is starting to happen. The return the office, which appears to be accelerating, will help the High Street leisure businesses.

    There will be further twists and turns in all areas of our lives as we emerge further from the last two years, but there is increasing clarity around the future of  retail and we believe, as a business, we are well placed to serve both ends of the new market.

    Eleanor Deeley, joint managing director

     

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  • National award for Woodside Care Village

    A care home in Warwick has received national recognition after claiming a major construction industry prize.

    Woodside Care Village, run by Warwickshire care home charity WCS Care, has been named winner of ‘Best Purpose Built Accommodation’ at the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Building Excellence Awards 2021 at a ceremony in London.

    The £7.5 million care home was constructed by midlands-based Deeley Construction and designed by Warwick-based Robothams Architects.

    Completed in 2019, the care home offers a village-style experience for 72 adults including people with mobility needs, dementia and hearing loss.

    Woodside Care Village features cutting edge circadian lighting and night time acoustic monitoring technology, along with its own spa, hair salon, cinema, shop, launderette, and gardens with a bike track, outdoor gym equipment and water features, all arranged around an outdoor plaza that’s like a typical village square.

    The national award comes after the care home took home the regional West Midlands prize in 2021, with Woodside Care Village one of three schemes to be shortlisted for the national prize.

    Eleanor Deeley, joint managing director of the Deeley Group, said: “We are very proud to have worked with WCS Care to deliver their high tech, innovative care home in Warwick.

    “At the Deeley Group we believe in the power of community and improving the communities we are part of, and this care home will continue to improve the quality of life for residents for many years to come.

    “This is a fantastic scheme that was delivered for WCS Care through great partnerships with Robothams and Waldeck. It is great recognition for our dedicated team to win this major national award.”

    Ed Russell, Chief Executive of WCS Care, said: “We’re delighted that Woodside Care Village has been recognised for its innovative design and construction nationally by winning LABC’s People & Place Award for New Housing – Best Purpose Built Accommodation.

    “A huge thank you to everyone involved in building and designing the care home including Deeley Group, Waldeck, CLB and Robothams Architects, as well as our staff and residents, who’ve made it a fantastic place to live and work.

    “Design is fundamental to supporting us with our approach to care and we’ve challenged typical thinking about what a care home looks like. It means we’re able to really focus on quality of life, providing plenty of opportunities for people to continue enjoying what they’ve always done.”

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