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KC opens its doors for viewers

The Kennel Club Educational Trust’s Building at Stoneleigh Park - the Centre of Educational Excellence for dogs and their owners – staged its first Open Days on Friday 29 and Sunday 31 August.

The open days were timed to coincide with the City of Birmingham Championship Show being held on the Stoneleigh Park showground and over 6,500 exhibitors and officials had been sent invitations to come to view the facilities.

Kennel Club staff were on hand to provide guided tours of the venue, answer questions and take bookings from interested parties. Hundreds of people visited the building over the weekend and the response from dog exhibitors, club and society officials and judges and Kennel Club members was overwhelmingly positive.

The features particularly singled out for praise included; the light and airy exhibition halls which benefit from natural daylight as well as good overhead lighting; the even tarmac flooring which was cited as ideal for dog shows; the spacious and light meetings rooms which boast state of the art presentation equipment; the high specification catering facilities and the generous outside rings.

35 Clubs and Societies made firm bookings to use the building for shows and seminars. Many opted to book the venue for years in advance. The building’s location and good access routes made the venue a desirable site for Breed Clubs who immediately saw the potential in the building for their Championship Shows.

Approximately a quarter of the space available was booked in the opening weekend and the Kennel Club continues to receive a high number of enquiries and bookings.

A large dog training society was so impressed by the facilities offered that it is considering making the Kennel Club Building its permanent home and amalgamating all its training under one roof. Such a move would place the Kennel Club Building at the heart of the dog owning community in the region.

Other bookings have been received for a national grooming competition, a native Irish Terrier Breeds Show, a week long international health seminar culminating in a show and a fun-day, a canine society open show, and over 20 educational and training seminars.

The next Kennel Club Question Time on the 27th of October will be held at the Kennel Club Building.

Many smaller clubs expressed an interest in hiring the building but wished to band together to share the space and costs of hiring a hall. As a result the Kennel Club Educational Trust will be setting up a facility on the Kennel Club website to bring clubs together with a view to sharing a booking. Many clubs booking the building on the same day announced that they would be contacting each other to look at areas for cooperation such as holding joint seminars and sharing of other costs.

Anybody wishing to know more about the Kennel Club Building at Stoneleigh Park or wishing to make a booking should contact the Kennel Club Educational Trust through Laura Colborn, Canine Activities Development Manager, at the Kennel Club on 0870 606 6750 extension 216.