When it opens later this year, the Newbrook Farm centre will be the first in the UK to incorporate all of the different RSPCA disciplines.
The project has seen the RSPCA relocate from their premises at Barnes Hill in Northfield, where they had operated since 1962.
Located in the rural Frankley Green in Worcestershire, the site covers an impressive 16,000 square metres and will include a range of facilities housed within 10 separate buildings. These include a C-shaped barn that has been converted into a two-storey animal centre with a main reception and offices; and a two-storey animal hospital with associated treatment, consultation and ancillary rooms.
One of the most exciting additions is the cattery, which will be the only two-storey RSPCA cattery in the UK. Interestingly, the cattery has incorporated an integral balcony that visitors may walk across to view the cats.
Further facilities include: holding kennels, long stay kennels, an isolation unit, a small animals building, a training facility and an overnight holding facility. In total, the centre will have the capacity to house 160 cats and 60 dogs.
An education and training centre, visitor centre and cafe will also be created; whilst there will be increased outdoor space for staff and volunteers to exercise and rehabilitate a range of animals including: rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs and birds.
The scheme was designed and project managed by the Gould Singleton Partnership and has incorporated a range of sustainable solutions including air source heat pumps, rain and grey water recycling and solar generation of hot water. In addition, the centre will boast passive ventilation and reed bed micro-organism technology.
Challenges have included working within a rural location where electricity is unreliable and the water mains are limited to the area. Furthermore, as the site already housed four homes for RSPCA representatives, a new temporary road had to be constructed in order to allow them to get in and out of the site. However, main contractor GF Tomlinson has overcome all challenges efficiently and effectively and the project continues to progress well.
David Tomlin, GF Tomlinson, said:
“As the only RSPCA centre in the UK to house all of the different disciplines, the Newbrook Farm addition will provide vital care for animals across Worcestershire.
“Although the project has been challenging, we have loved every moment of it. We always welcome working with the RSPCA and have liaised with them very closely throughout the duration of the project. This is a prestigious project that we are very proud to be a part of.”
The scheme has been supported by capital appeal manager for the RSPCA and former Coronation Street star, Adam Rickitt.
Commenting on the Newbrook Farm development, Adam Rickitt said:
“This flagship facility is the embodiment of all the RSPCA stands for. It will be the only site in the country that can complete the full journey for an animal in our care from rescue, remedy and rehabilitation to re-homing.
“The RSPCA is so excited to be creating a new chapter in animal welfare for the whole country and we knew we could trust GF Tomlinson to deliver this moment in history.”