A new multi-million pound Dunelm Mill store has welcomed customers for the first time in Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire.
The 22,000 sq ft unit at Wolstanton Retail Park has been built by Midlands-based Deeley Construction and has finally been able to open its doors following the Government’s announcement that non-essential retail could reopen from April 12.
The store has employed around 60 new local members of staff and has been purpose-built for the retailer by Deeley Construction.
Work was completed in October 2020 and carried out entirely during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dunelm Mill now has 174 shops, including the new Wolstanton store, and has seen its value rise to £2.8 billion over the last 12 months.
The store was officially opened by Emily Petts, co-founder of Alice Charity which supports families living in poverty in the Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Staff have been working closely with community groups ahead of opening, including collecting blankets for City Dogs Home and Alice Charity.
Members of the Dunelm Newcastle-under-Lyme Community Support group on Facebook were invited to be the first customers of the store – with people queuing up from 7.30am to see inside the huge new store.
The spacious store features a make and mend department to encourage repair and reuse of products.
It also features a café, extended decorating offer and sells a vast selection of homeware and home furnishing goods – for which Dunelm is renowned for around the country.
The cafe will be opening from May 17 and will include afternoon teas as part of its offering.
Deeley Construction also completed work to improve the foundations of the existing Matalan unit and ensure a fire safety route from Marks & Spencer was maintained.
Martin Gallagher, managing director of Deeley Construction, said: “It’s brilliant to see the store finally open after what has been an incredibly difficult few months for retailers across the country.
“With people queuing up to be the first into the store that proves there is a huge demand for a retailer of this type in the area and it is already providing a huge boost to the local economy, with new jobs and additional footfall for the retail park.
“Our team delivered this development on site during the Covid-19 pandemic and in a live environment, with many customers still visiting Wolstanton Retail Park during the build.
“We ensured there was as little disruption as possible to other businesses and the new Dunelm store is the latest addition to a thriving retail landscape in the area.”
Midlands-based developer Deeley Group is delivering the new development on the Birmingham New Road and Spring Road junction.
Deeley Properties, a division of the Deeley Group, worked in partnership with Ziran Land Ltd and the land owners Forty Four Club to bring forward the scheme.
It is expected to be completed by September 2021 and will create five full-time and 12 part-time jobs.
The companies are delivering a finished building for Costa, who will enter into a 15-year lease, and Deeley Construction has now started work on site.
It includes four electric vehicle charging bays which will be leased and operated by Osprey Charging Network Ltd. As part of the development, a new access road will be created and shared by the Forty Four Club, Osprey and the new Costa drive-thru.
Andrew Brazier, development consultant to Deeley Properties, said: “This showcases the versatility of the Deeley Group and being able to follow a development through from conception to completion of construction.
“We have worked in partnership with Ziran Land, Holt Commercial and Forty Four Club to put together an appealing package for Costa Coffee.
“The development will bring numerable benefits to the local community, with Forty Four Club investing the proceeds from the sale back into the club and its facilities. It is also creating jobs for local people and improving a well-loved community hub.
“We look forward to seeing the development completed later this year and serving customers in Wolverhampton.”
Holt Commercial, chartered surveyors with offices in Birmingham and Coventry, concluded an investment sale for the completed property to Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society. Wade and Partners acted on behalf of the investor.
David Allen, a Director of Holt Commercial, added: “We have seen significant growth and interest in this sector over the last few years and we expect that to continue both in the Midlands and around the country.
“Drive-thru restaurants have proved resilient over the Covid-19 period both in trading and investment terms. The junction of Birmngham New Road and Spring Road is a prime location for a development of this type and proved very attractive for the investor.
“We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with Deeley Properties and Ziran Land on further deals in the future.”
Riders in a popular Coventry and Warwickshire charity cycling event will be swapping thermals for shorts as they saddle up for its first ever summer date.
The Starley Sportive makes its return on Sunday, September 19 after a year hiatus – with £10,000 being raised despite the event not being able to take place in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic.
The event, which is organised by Coventry Road Club, the Deeley Group and Coventry City Council’s GoCV team, usually takes place early in the year but 2021 will see its debut summer time event and organisers are expecting it to be more popular than ever.
Around 700 riders are expected to take part and funds raised from entrants will be primarily donated to Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice and University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire Charity. However participants are encouraged to raise money for any causes of personal significance.
Riders will set off from the Deeley Group head office on Herald Avenue, Coventry, and have the choice of challenging three distances – a 28.6 mile route, a 63.2 mile long-distance ride, or the mammoth 86.5 mile challenge.
Participants who kindly donated their entry fees following the cancellation of last year’s event will be given priority entry for this year’s sportive.
Edward Hudson, Business Development Manager at the Deeley Group, said: “We’re excited to be launching the first summer Starley Sportive event and looking forward to welcoming back riders after the unavoidable cancellation of last year’s event.
“On behalf of all of the organisers, we would like to thank partners and riders who donated to the event in 2020 and enabled us to continue our support for local causes – particularly in a time where fundraising has proved challenging for charities.
“Cycling is a great way to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and supports both physical and mental health – which is particularly prevalent now following a difficult 12 months.
“We return in a landmark year for the Deeley Group as the business turns 85, and also for the city as Coventry celebrates being UK City of Culture and are looking forward to being part of the celebrations.”
The sportive celebrates the contributions of inventors James and John Kemp Starley to the bicycle industry.
James Starley is known as the father of the bicycle industry, while his nephew John Kemp Starley is widely regarded as the inventor of the modern bicycle – both lived and worked in Coventry.
Ian Court, Racing Secretary at Coventry Road Club, added: “We were bowled over the generosity of people last year in allowing us to maintaining our charitable donations to Zoe’s Place through their fees even though we were unable to hold the event.
“Normally the event is in February so hopefully this year it will be a bit warmer and those taking part will have a few more miles in their legs!”
Early bird entry is now open for riders who donated their entry fees in 2020 – with general entry open from April 4.
For more information and took book a place at the Starley Sportive visit www.starleysportive.co.uk
Platform Housing Group – which has its headquarters in the Midlands – has unveiled 21 new homes in the village of Ryton-on-Dunsmore in Rugby. It is the social landlord’s latest development within Warwickshire, which offers a mixture of affordable homes for shared ownership and rent. These are made up of four 2 bedroom homes and four 3 bedroom homes for affordable rent and four 2 bedroom homes and nine 3 bedroom homes for shared ownership.
The Coal Yard Road scheme – which is costing £4,166,000.00 – has been made possible by grant funding from Homes England and also Group funds.
Those involved in the new development include the developer Deeley Construction, Waldeck Associates Limited, Robothams Architecture, Couch Consulting Engineers with support from Rugby Borough Council and Ryton-on-Dunsmore Parish Council.
Beth Carss, Project Manager at Platform Housing Group explained : “The new homes will form a high quality and sustainable affordable housing development that meets the needs of local people. Ensuring people have access to social housing is of vital importance in today’s world. We are delighted with the development and hope our customers will be very happy in their new homes.”
The site at Coal Yard Road was originally acquired in September 2018.
Edward Hudson, Business Development Manager at Deeley Construction said : “We are delighted with the outcome of the housing development in the village of Ryon-on-Dunsmore. Together with Platform Housing Group we have helped to make a real and positive difference to the lives of local customers and the communities they live in by redeveloping this former brownfield site.”
Platform Housing Group – which owns 46,000 homes in total – completed 1448 homes in 2019/20 (1,598 in 2018/19) at an investment of £258m (£228m in 2018/19). The Group also built more social rented homes – at a figure of 981 – during the past 2 years in England than any other provider, 523 in 2019/20, almost 33% of the total homes built.
Platform Housing Group’s operating area is from Herefordshire in the West to the Lincolnshire coast in the East, and from the Derbyshire Dales in the North to the Cotswolds in the South.
To register interest in a home please contact Platform Home Ownership at platformhomeownership.com or by calling 0345 450 3995.
For further information on the scheme please contact Beth Carss, Project Manager at Platform Housing Group on 07436 562247 or email her at Beth.Carss@Platformhg.com.
The company has always been a strong believer in breeding its own workforce through apprenticeships and training and it is a policy which has served the company extremely well through the years and continues to do so.
I should know. I started with the firm in 1988 (when I was, obviously, very young!) straight from school. I had not done as well as I wanted in my A Levels so therefore did not go straight to university but joined Deeley as I wanted to be a quantity surveyor.
I could not have made a better decision. In the intervening years I studied for my ONC in Building Studies at Coventry College and then my HNC at Coventry University before doing a degree in Quantity Surveying at what was then the University of Central England.
I then went on to earn my professional qualifications MRICS and MCIOB to complete my training.
Through all that time I was working at Deeley, gaining hands-on practical experience that, for me, made learning the theory so much more relatable.
I am not alone. Around 25 per cent of our workforce has been taken on through an apprenticeship or trainee programme. We find that it allows us to teach them the “Deeley Way” helping to shape what they learn to not only give them a thorough grounding but to also improve our all-round capability.
Our colleagues also enjoy working with younger people and passing on the skills they have learned while working for us, while apprentices tend to stay longer with an employer than other staff.
Currently 15 per cent of Deeley Group’s employees are in an apprenticeship or undergoing further learning programmes, so it is a trend which continues and impacts positively on every part of the group’s operations.
We currently have trainees on site, in accounts, and in marketing, while several of our senior team have come through the ranks after starting as trainees.
Even last year in the depths of the pandemic we took the bold step to recruit two new management trainees having previously engaged with their school and offering them work experience the year before. Only today, I have had a Teams meeting with Jack and Tom to review their progress – it so encouraging to see their passion to learn and progress through the company and it took me back to 1988!!
February 8 sees the start of National Apprenticeship Week, and while activities will be limited by Covid restrictions, it an important initiative – important for young people to realise what an apprenticeship or traineeship can lead to, and important for companies to tap into the rich vein of potential talent which can serve them well.
By Martin Gallagher, Managing Director, Deeley Construction
‘The Willows’ development, which is three miles from Melton Mowbray, is a partnership between Midlands-based developer Deeley Homes (part of the Deeley Group) and social housing and care organisation emh group.
It is the first time the two organisations have worked together on a development, which will provide a mix of social rented, shared ownership and market sale homes.
The scheme will see more than two thirds of the houses delivered as affordable homes, contributing to targets in the East Midlands, while supporting the demand for homes of this type in Asfordby and surrounding communities.
Deeley Homes partnered with emh group to purchase the site and detailed planning permission was granted for the development in June 2020.
Fifteen of the homes will be sold privately under the Deeley Homes banner, emh group is also developing its first market sale units here as well as shared ownership and rented accommodation to meet demand on the housing register.
The developers have committed to making a range of improvements in the area near the development to make the area safer and enhance infrastructure for the community.
This includes improving highway safety outside the nearby primary school, upgrading local bus stops, providing bus passes and travel packs to new residents and also contributing to libraries and secondary education provision in the area.
Eleanor Deeley, Deputy Managing Director of the Deeley Group, said: “This development is crucial in providing vital affordable housing to people in and around Asfordby, and we’re pleased to announce work is now underway on site.
“This is a development that is designed to respond to the requirements of people who live in the area and we are pleased to have partnered with emh group to ensure that this is the case.
“It is the first time we have worked alongside emh group on a project and we hope this will be the start of a fruitful partnership.
“In addition to the affordable homes delivery we will be bringing a collection of new Deeley Homes properties to the market and there is expected to be high-demand for these properties in the region.
“The development is perfectly positioned with excellent school options for residents and good transport links to major nearby towns.
“As part of the scheme we are making a range of local infrastructure improvements too and we believe the development will be of great benefit to the community of Asfordby.”
Chris Jones, Executive Director of Development at emh group, said: “As a strategic partner of Homes England, the government homebuilding agency, we aim to deliver 600 new affordable homes across the East Midlands every year.
“We are delighted that our first project with Deeley Homes, and first market sale homes, has started on site, and through this strong partnership we are contributing to meeting the housing needs and aspirations of people in the Melton Borough Council area with new homes for shared ownership and affordable rent.”