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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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  • National award for Woodside Care Village

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  • EV dynamic charging hub opens in Wolverhampton

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  • Raising a cup as new drive-thru Costa opens in Wolverhampton

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  • Deeley Group wins CSR prize at regional awards

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  • Hundreds of cyclists saddle up to raise over £11,000

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  • BLOG: Women in Construction

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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.

 

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.                                  

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.”

EV dynamic charging hub opens in Wolverhampton

A UK-first electric vehicle (EV) dynamic charging hub is open in Wolverhampton.

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.”

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.

Raising a cup as new drive-thru Costa opens in Wolverhampton

A Midlands developer has completed work to create a new drive-thru Costa in Wolverhampton and the coffee restaurant is now open for business.

Deeley Group, which is headquartered in Coventry, has delivered the new coffee restaurant on the Birmingham New Road and Spring Road junction.

The land was acquired from the neighbouring Forty Four Club which has invested the proceeds of the land sale into the club and its facilities.

Deeley Properties worked in partnership with Ziran Land to bring forward the scheme and Deeley Construction, another division of the Deeley Group, completed the £1.6 million seven month, development.

The drive-thru is on one of the primary routes between Wolverhampton and Birmingham and has created five full-time and 12 part-time jobs. A 15-year lease has been signed by Costa for the new unit.

Four of the UK’s most powerful electric vehicle charging stations have been installed on the site. The first of their kind in the UK, the chargers have been installed by Osprey Charging Network and each provides power of up to 150kW, meaning they are future-proofed for the next generation of electric vehicle technology.

Andrew Brazier, development consultant to Deeley Properties, said: “The new Costa drive-thru is already proving popular with people in the local area and those travelling between Wolverhampton and Birmingham.

“This has been a great example of the flexibility and versatility of the Deeley Group and how our expertise across a range of areas enables us the company to deliver an end-to-end service on a development.

“The development has already had a positive impact on the community with investment in the Forty Four Club and new jobs created at the Costa.

“Roadside retail is a sector that continues to thrive and Costa signing a 15 year lease on this site is evidence of the sector’s strength.”

John Liggins, Managing Director at Ziran Land, added: “Finding this high profile site and bringing it forward for development has been challenging due to its brownfield status within a former mining area. But the team has delivered a development which is a magnificent aspect onto the Birmingham New Road”.

Patrick Sherriff, Property Director for Osprey Charging Network, said: “With more electric vehicles registered in September and October this year than diesel vehicles, it’s natural that brilliant roadside locations such as this will now host high-power charging stations. Osprey are delighted that the first of over 30 charging hubs in development will serve both the local and en-route electric vehicle drivers of the Midlands.”

Holt Commercial acted in the investment sale for the completed property to Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society.  Wade and Partners acted on behalf of the investor.

PICTURE CAPTION: From left to right – John Liggins, Patrick Sherriff and Andrew Brazier.

Deeley Group wins CSR prize at regional awards

Midlands-based developer Deeley Group has been recognised for the work the firm does in the community at a major regional business awards.

The company came away from the 2021 CoventryLive Business Awards as winners of CSR Project of the Year, sponsored by Barclays.

The award celebrates businesses going above and beyond in their corporate social responsibilities.

Deeley Group’s win of the CSR Project of the Year prize was in recognition of the valuable work the business has done in the community in recent years and the development of charity events, including the successful Starley Sportive charity cycle ride.

Other projects highlighted included a new kitchen for charity Steps for Change in Coventry, refurbishment of the Samaritans Centre in Earlsdon and new classrooms at St Patricks Primary School.

The CoventryLive Business Awards saw hundreds of members of the business community come together to celebrate the successes of the region’s businesses over the past year.

Winners were decided by a judging panel chaired by Marc Reeves, Midlands marketplace publisher for CoventryLive’s owner Reach plc. He was joined by Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s trade director Ajay Desai, CityFibre’s regional partnership director Leigh Hunt and Barclays’ business banking regional manager Kurt Pollard.

The ceremony held at Coventry Building Society Arena was hosted by TV broadcaster and weather presenter Emma Jesson.

Deputy managing director Eleanor Deeley was on hand to receive the award on stage at Coventry Building Society Arena and said it was recognition of the positive impact the company has made on local communities in recent years.

She said: “Over the past 85 years, the Deeley Group has always looked to ensure it leaves a sustainable legacy in the communities it works in.

“This ranges from working with local charities and schools, to standalone projects supporting important local causes and organisations.

“We would like to thank the judging panel for recognising us with this award and it is testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff.

“Deeley Group will continue to engage with our supply chain to add social value wherever possible on our projects across the Midlands.”

Hundreds of cyclists saddle up to raise over £11,000

One of the regions biggest charity cycling events returned as a fleet of fundraising cyclists got back in the saddle to raise thousands for major charities and personal causes.

The Starley Sportive saw 470 riders register to saddle up on the day and raise more than £11,000 for local charities including The Myton Hospices, Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice and University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire Charity.

Update 13th October 2021:  We have had a number of sponsorships come in from our charity partners which has meant we’ve increased our initial figure from £9,000 raised to over £11,000.

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 Groups 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.

Wed also like to thank everyone involved in organising and facilitating this years 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: Its great to be reminded of how sport and cycling bring people together like this, especially after last years event had to be cancelled.

Wed like to thank all of our sponsors for their support in making this years event such a success and hope to see all those who took part and many more at next years Starley Sportive.”

For more information visit www.starleysportive.co.uk 

BLOG: Women in Construction

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.