The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association is moving its breeding operations into their new state-of-the-art home, after construction work was completed on its new national breeding centre, in Leamington Spa. The centre was designed by international architecture, urbanism and design practice Broadway Malyan and Associate Director Kevin Harnett said: “This is our fourth project for Guide Dogs over a 15 year period, reinforcing our position as a long-term project partner.
“We are confident that this sustainable complex will provide a stimulating and enriching environment for the canine residents, as well as a landmark facility for staff, volunteers and visitors."
UK construction, infrastructure and design business Morgan Sindall plc handed-over the new circa £16 million centre, in Bishops Tachbrook, to Guide Dogs, following a 59-week construction and fit-out project. The last two weeks have been spent preparing the centre for staff, dogs and volunteers.
The new facility, which has been delivered on time and to budget, will allow the Guide Dogs to meet its target of increasing the amount of life-change partnerships it creates annually to 900 by 2015.
Carol Warner, Guide Dogs’ National Breeding Centre Operations Manager, said: “Guide Dogs has bred puppies in Bishops Tachbrook, from Tollgate House, since 1968 and with this fantastic new facility we’re looking forward to continuing that tradition for many years to come.
“The new world-class centre will help us to meet our challenging aim of ensuring all blind and partially sighted people can enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else. There is still a lot of work to do in terms of settling in to the new centre and it will not be open to the public until later this year, around November."
Designed to complement its rural location, the centre features a series of one and two-storey pavilions, fitted out with kennels, office space and facilities for dog breeding. A number of environmentally-friendly features have been incorporated to lower the facility’s carbon footprint, including a biomass boiler and rainwater harvesting facilities.