Royal visit to open new BHS headquarters today

  • The Princess Royal will officially open the new £3.5 million headquarters of the British Horse Society (BHS) today (22 February).

    The landmark building at Abbey Park, Stoneleigh, replaces the previous temporary buildings.

    The doughnut-shaped building completely surrounds a mature oak tree.

    And its façade is constructed from natural stone: European oak cladding and sedum were used on the roof, to create a moist environment around the central tree.

    There is also an ancient sweet chestnut adjacent to the main entrance that is reputed to be the second oldest in Warwickshire and, according to local legend, Robin Hood slept beneath it when passing through the area.

    The BHS occupies nearly three quarters of the building and the rest is available to let by other equestrian societies and businesses.

    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.”

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