By Lily Chick
A £1.7million “out of this world” RSPCA centre is now open to care for animals across Saddleworth, Oldham and Bury.
In 2014, the local branch of the animal welfare charity found out they would have to move from their site at Mumps in Oldham town centre due to new tram lines and building works.
With help from Oldham Council they found a site on Holgate Street, behind Waterhead Academy, and began the renovation works for their new home.
A massive fundraising effort began to raise the money needed for The Strinesdale Centre which was officially opened this May.
Denise McCabe, Operations Director for the Bury Oldham and District branch, told the Independent: “We’re delighted and the centre is just out of this world.
“Oldham Council have been very supportive of the move and helped us find the site and gave us some money to get the work going.
“But we still had to find £1.1million ourselves through fundraising locally. And we still need around £35,000 so we can finish off some of the upstairs rooms.”
Local businesses backed the cause, with substantial grants from the Support Adoption for Pets charity and the Jean Sainsbury Animal Welfare Trust.
Staff from Breakey and Nuttall took on a daring shark dive, as well as sponsoring some of the animals, as have numerous other local companies.
And RSPCA Oldham and Bury is one of the charities chosen by the Co-op for their Local Community Fund so each time members buy Co-op branded products 1 per cent can be donated to the charity. Local Co-ops also donated £75 worth of pet food to the centre.
The new centre houses around 50 cats and 15 dogs, has a state-of-the-art veterinary suite and other facilities, and boasts cat and dog ‘meet and greet rooms’.
Before cutting the ribbon at the opening ceremony, Jeremey Cooper, National CEO of RSPCA, said: “I am privileged and humbled to be invited to this event.
“It has been an immensely successful transition from the old facility to the new. It is remarkable and a credit to everyone involved.
“Thank you to everyone, especially all the trustees who do it for nothing, purely out of their love of the animals.”
Angela Garvin, chair of the trustees, said: “At one stage we didn’t think the build would happen. It has been a long time coming and we are all immensely proud.
“Denise and her team have put their heart and soul into the project and it’s paid off.”
Miss Garvin also thanked RSPCA staff and volunteers, supporters, donators, Oldham Council, and the building team for all their efforts on the project.
Building for the future, the centre will be teaming up with Nottingham University to train undergraduate vets, as well as working with Greater Manchester Animal Hospital.
They also have a number of fundraising events planned, as well as working with local schools, including an Open Day for the public on Sunday, May 14.
The branch, which is financially independent of the national organisation, is constantly fundraising and also looking for volunteers to come along, help out and get involved.
For more information about the centre, adopting animals, donating to their cause or volunteering please visit their website: http://www.rspca-buryoldham.org.uk or call: 0300 1111 333.