Deeley Group has agreed the lease of a unit in Leamington to an engineering firm which is planning to become a world leader in the development and manufacture of PPE.
Tecman Advanced Material Engineers have leased the unit at Ramsey Road, Leamington, formerly the home of Bellagio Stone.
It will house its production facility dedicated to the manufacture of face and eye protection.
The new premises include 10,000 sq ft of storage, a new automation system to streamline production, and state-of-the-art machinery to boost manufacturing capacity.
The new production line will enable to firm to produce over a million protective visors per week, and support the company’s long-term vision of becoming a global industry leader.
The firm says the site has already created 30 new jobs at the company and will create a further 10 jobs in the future.
Peter Deeley, Managing Director of the Deeley Group, said: “Tecman has been doing incredible work during the Covid-19 pandemic to manufacture PPE and we’re pleased this new facility will allow the firm to further expand operation.
“The unit is ideally positioned on the outskirts of Leamington near a collection of businesses that form a thriving business community.
“The business will be providing vital new jobs to local people, which is even more important now as the area recovers from the impact of Covid-19.
“The deal was completed quickly and we look forward to working in partnership with Tecman more in the future.”
Kevin Porter, technical director at Tecman, added: “Developing and manufacturing an effective product to support frontline workers has already led to the creation of 30 new jobs at Tecman.
“Our expansion into new premises creates a need to expand our team further, and we’re delighted to be able to offer jobs within the West Midlands during a time when many are unable to work.”
A Midlands-based construction company has started work on a multi-million retail unit near Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire.
Deeley Construction, which is headquartered in Coventry, has begun work on the 22,000 sq ft unit at Wolstanton Retail Park, which will be home to nationally renowned home furnishing retailer Dunelm Mill.
The unit, which is expected to be completed later this year It is being built between the existing Matalan and Marks & Spencer stores at the retail park, and when Dunelm Mill opens its doors it is expected to create up to 50 jobs for local people.
The unit will be purpose-built for Dunelm Mill and feature a café, alongside the typical homeware and home furnishing goods sold by the retaile which has 169 stores across the UK.
Work is being carried out on site during the Covid-19 pandemic, with workers adhering to strict social distancing guidelines.
Deeley Construction’s work will also include improvement of the foundations of the Matalan unit, whilst still maintaining a fire safety route from Marks & Spencer.
Martin Gallagher, managing director of Deeley Construction, said: “Our team are now set-up and working on site to deliver this retail project, which is part of the continued development of Wolstanton Retail Park.
“The retail park is still busy, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, and our team will be operating social distancing measures, while providing as little disruption as possible the general public.
“Deeley Construction has great experience with working in live retail environments and delivering purpose-built units.
“The new Dunelm Mill store will provide a boost to the local economy and provide new jobs for people in the area and we’re delighted to be working on this project.”
Ledbury residents are being encouraged to have their say on a new community-led development scheme before it is submitted for planning permission.
The scheme, known as Leadon Vale, is being developed by Midlands-based Deeley Group and the family-owned company is engaging with the local community through an online public consultation.
The new development will feature a community medical centre, locally-run children’s day nursery and a Lidl food store.
It is proposed to be built adjacent to the Old Wharf Industrial Estate, where Leadon Way meets Dymock Road.
There will be just under 200 car parking spaces at Leadon Vale, with the development offering a range of amenities and employment opportunities for existing and new residents in the south of Ledbury.
The energy-efficient buildings are designed to respond to the surrounding area with fitting design, including a green roof on the 23,412 sq ft Lidl store.
A public consultation was planned to take place in May however due to Covid-19 this will not be possible, so the event will be taking place online.
Eleanor Deeley, Deputy Managing Director of the Deeley Group, said: “The Deeley Group always make a priority of engaging with communities wherever we work to ensure we create a sustainable footprint on the local area.
“Leadon Vale is in a fantastic location to provide support to local people and is within walking and cycling distance of those who live on the south side of the town.
“We would like to hear feedback from residents on the proposed development and ensure it responds to the needs of the community before submitting for planning permission.”
Woodlands Nursery will be operating the day nursery and it will be the site of their third pre-school, with other sites at Hereford and Ross-on-Wye.
The nursery will offer at least 23 full and part-time jobs to qualified and apprenticeship staff, while also providing in-house training opportunities for local people who are interested in a career in early years.
Oliver Marshall, Director of Woodlands Nursery, added: “We are delighted to be able to take forward these plans for a new purpose-built nursery school at Leadon Vale.
“We have been searching for a site near Ledbury for a number of years, having been told by local people and businesses that they desperately need an early years facility like this in the town.
“Leadon Vale is a really well thought out proposal, and as a local business we are delighted to be involved. We believe it will be a credit to the area.”
To find out more about Leadon Vale and to provide feedback on the proposal visit www.deeley.co.uk/properties/our-developments/leadon-vale/
Eleanor Deeley, Deputy Managing Director of the Deeley Group, on how construction is adapting to a limited return to site working
There is no doubt that parts of the economy are beginning to show signs of life – but the tap is only being turned on very slowly.
I was on one of many recent video calls when someone said that as we end lockdown it will be a little like when you have had your boiler repaired. When you turn on tap it splutters as the pipes refill and takes a while for the flow to be resumed.
On the construction side of the Deeley Group, the announcement of lockdown and social distancing meant our tap was tightly turned off and we closed our 11 sites.
I fully appreciate that it is very difficult for Government to be clear and concise bearing in mind the myriad of unprecented measures they are bringing in at the moment but there was, at best, uncertainty as to what was essential working.
Also, the advice that work would continue also came with a heavy hint that there was little understanding as to how a site works and that did cause concern in the industry.
Slowly the sector got to grips with exactly how we could continue working to a level while strictly adhering to the social distancing rules. That has, inevitably, meant big changes in how we work.
For example, signing in is now by text rather than an electronic fingerprint system; canteens are closed; site times, break times and lunch times are staggered; we can only have 10-30 per cent of the number of people on site to allow for social distancing.
There have been struggles getting materials – especially plasterboard – and many of the builders’ merchants were closed until very recently. That is all easing and the supply of UK-produced goods is getting much better, but there will be times when we are held up by the absence of products such as lifts or air-conditioning units, which have to be imported.
Interestingly, in a world of sub-contractors, there has been a total regard for the health and wellbeing of staff, which has been refreshing to witness particularly when, at the same time, there were images from major construction projects where workers paying no attention to the guidance.
Sub-contractors are only coming back to sites where they are confident that social distancing can be maintained and, when it can’t, there is suitable PPE used by all.
But no-one should be under the impression that this means we are back to normal. Social distancing is likely to remain in place for many months to come and this means that the rate of construction is going to remain low because of the limited numbers on site.
As ever, industry is going to have to find a way to overcome the hurdle. We might need
to extend working hours as we have the longer evenings arriving, almost operating a two-shift system to maximise the number of working hours on site.
I think an increase in weekend working is almost inevitable, but that will not only allow us to maintain progress as much as possible but it will also allow sub-contractors to earn, which will very welcome after the last two months.
Equally inevitable will be increased costs because efficient sequencing of a build will not be possible given the restrictions in place and the equipment shortages.
There are also other more trivial, but still important, consequences. Spirit on a site is always important but with people working alone we simply cannot interact in the same way.
There is going to be part of our morale that is absent as we miss the joke that we don’t hear, and the catch up over a coffee during a break.
But that is a small price to pay.
A cycle event has been able to raise £9,415 for charity even though it was unable to go ahead this month.
More than 700 riders were set to head out onto the Coventry and Warwickshire roads for the Starley Sportive on Sunday, April 26 – after the event was originally postponed due to Storm Dennis in February.
COVID-19 forced organisers Coventry Road Club, Coventry-based construction and development firm the Deeley Group and Coventry City Council to cancel the rescheduled date, although refunds were offered many generous riders have chosen to still donate their entry fees to charity.
The funds raised will be donated to primarily to support Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice – but some money will also be donated to Leamington-based Young People First.
Businesses who had already committed to supporting the event have also fulfilled their donations, with Eagledale, Wallsmart, Murray & Co, RM Contractors and TBL Fire Protection all contributing to the fundraising total.
A virtual ride took place via RGT cycling on the day the event was planned for, with all funds raised donated to support Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice through the coronavirus pandemic.
Edward Hudson, Business Development Manager at the Deeley Group, said: “We were very disappointed to have to cancel the Starley Sportive this year but the response we received from cyclists who had already signed up has been fantastic.
“We would also like to thank all of our other partners who had pledged to support the event in 2020.
“The Starley Sportive is always a not-for-profit event and we ensure that as much of the funds raised as possible reaches our charities.
“We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at our 2021 event which will of course be taking place in Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture.”
This year the Starley Sportive teamed up with Coventry-based Etch & Pin ahead of the ride to create special pin badges to commemorate the event. They are awarding 100 of these badges in a free prize draw to riders who chose to donate their entry fees.
Ian Court, of Coventry Road Club, added: “Charities have been forced to cancel many of their fundraising events in recent months.
“So, we would like thank everyone who has donated their entry fees to support these charities in very testing times.”
Eleanor Deeley, Deputy Managing Director of the Deeley Group, casts her eye over how the planning system is adjusting to life in lockdown
At a time when people have been panic buying shopping for toilet rolls, cutting their own hair and congregating for karaoke parties during the lockdown, it is refreshing – and indeed rare – to highlight the planning structure as a model of good sense.
Despite the tragic events which have crippled countries across the globe and robbed families of loved ones, other aspects of life have to try to operate as normal or at least adapt to the unique circumstances in which we find ourselves.
I think everyone has been pleasantly surprised, for example, how quickly people have adjusted to working from home and meeting virtually.
It would have been all too easy for development and construction to grind to a total halt. While many of the aspects of the profession have been rendered impossible through restrictions, the Government flexing planning regulations has allowed a great deal of work to continue when otherwise it would have been forced to cease.
The change has allowed more planning matters to be agreed under delegated powers which means that there continues to be a flow of applications being processed.
As with all aspects of business during the lockdown period, precise preparation and clear communication are vital in ensuring officers have as full a picture as possible allowing them to be comfortable they are able to make the right decisions.
The changes to planning regulations have also given council’s certain freedoms to decide the best ways to operate within guidelines.
Planning meetings can, for example, be held remotely with members logging in over the internet or on the telephone. The location of a meeting can now be defined digitally such as a web address or video conference call rather than a physical place.
As long as committee members, officers and applicants can hear and be heard then a meeting can go ahead. Contributions from the members of the public if they are allowed to speak can be registered in advantage.
I wonder how many times committees would like to have had a “mute facility” at their disposal in real meetings!
Public consultations are, by their very nature, far harder to carry out during lockdown yet the Local Government Association Planning Advisory Service has urged local authorities to press on employing social media, interactive maps and online information, and utilising virtual groups through channels such as Facebook.
These are still early days relative to public consultations and there are more formal and structured elements to the process which may not be able to be conducted remotely, and there is talk of guidance being flexed to make that possible should this situation continue.
There are elements which have proved trickier to overcome. Some smaller councils do not have it within their constitution to make decisions without a physical meeting while traffic counts – a key factor in planning applications and consents – are impossible to measure when we are restricted to essential journeys only.
Again, if lockdown continues then the system will have to adapt and research has shown that more than three quarters of councillors are behind the process continuing virtually until the crisis is behind us.
What this dreadful time has shown is that, when the pressure is on and needs must, the planning system, which at times seems massively inflexible, can be shaped and moulded to mutual benefit.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that spirit of understanding and mutual working continued long after this horrible period is over?