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Felixstowe: Blue Cross pulls out of new rescue centre site

PUBLISHED: 15:00 12 October 2011

Blue Cross chief executive Kim Hamilton and Andrew Gillon, manager of the Felixstowe Blue Cross.

Blue Cross chief executive Kim Hamilton and Andrew Gillon, manager of the Felixstowe Blue Cross.

Archant

SUPPORTERS of the Blue Cross were left shocked today after the charity made a dramatic decision to pull out of its project to open a new animal rescue centre.

"We’ve looked at all the possibilities to make this project work at this site but the harsh reality is that the numbers just don’t add up. "

Andrew Gillon, manager of the Blue Cross

The announcement comes just a day before councillors were set to approve £1million-plus proposals to transform the former BT and civil service sports and social club The Hollies into a state-of-the-art complex.

Officials at Felixstowe said there had been last-minute complications with the site at Foxhall which threatened to cause significant delays to the project and a big rise in the costs involved.

They had been advised that the land would need an archaeological investigation, while service connections such as water and electricity would need a major and expensive upgrade.

But the animal charity says while it is deeply disappointed, it is committed to staying in the area – and is today starting the search for a potential site.

Blue Cross chief executive Kim Hamilton said: “As a charity, we must make sure that we spend our funds wisely and I’m afraid the growing costs and significant complications that have recently come to light mean this site is no longer a viable investment.”

Kerstin Alford, director of service delivery, said: “We are totally committed to finding another site in the area and we are hoping we can do that expediently and get some good news which will put this project back on track.”

When executives assessed the cost implications of the complications, it was felt the extra money spent would not bring as many benefits for the animals the charity helps as originally hoped.

Andrew Gillon, manager of the Blue Cross animal adoption centre in Felixstowe, said: “We’ve looked at all the possibilities to make this project work at this site but the harsh reality is that the numbers just don’t add up.

“It’s a huge disappointment but we want the Blue Cross to be here for the animals in Suffolk in the long term so it’s essential that this project is financially viable, both now and in the years ahead.”

Simon Hughes, one of the owners of the Hollies site, said he had spoken to the county archaeological service and had been advised of no major interest in the site or that it held any historic significance.


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