Royal Opening for new BHS HQ
A new headquarters for the UK’s foremost equestrian charity, The British Horse Society, was opened by HRH The Princess Royal on February 22nd.
The new offices provide high-quality accommodation for 85 staff, with additional meeting and conference facilities for visitors. It is a stunning new home for the UK’s largest and most influential equestrian body and provides a superb base from which staff will be able to represent the interests of the 4.3 million people in the UK who ride or drive horse-drawn vehicles, particularly in the run up to next year’s Olympic Games.
The building, which sits in a Grade 2 listed deer park in Stareton, Warwickshire, comprises 22,500 square feet of modern offices within the green belt. It is circular in shape, designed to fit around a fine 200-year-old oak tree which stands as its centrepiece. Great lengths were taken during construction to protect the many valuable trees on the site, not just by fencing off individual trees to prevent workers and machinery from getting too close, but also by hand-digging the foundations where necessary to avoid damaging root systems.
BHS Chief Executive Graham Cory said: “We are honoured that HRH The Princess Royal – without doubt the UK’s foremost ambassador for equestrianism – agreed to open our new HQ. Attempting to compare our new home with the building it has replaced makes about as much sense as comparing the Parthenon with a local bus station. A bright, spacious and airy office now stands in the space once occupied by a building which was none of these. Previously, I had felt mean when I asked staff to work in such poor conditions and embarrassed when we welcomed visitors. Now we have a building of which the Society can be proud.”