Page last updated at 21:14 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Proposals to close animal centres in Suffolk and Sussex

The Blue Cross centre in Felixstowe (Copyright: The Blue Cross)
The Blue Cross Centre in Felixstowe dates from 1970 (Pic: The Blue Cross)

An animal welfare charity is proposing to close two of its centres in Suffolk and East Sussex following a review of the services it provides.

Pet charity The Blue Cross says its Felixstowe and Northiam centres could be wound down over the next few months.

A spokesman said the centres had "successfully supported local animals and their owners for years".

But they were both "outdated and no longer fit for purpose" and the sites were unsuitable for redevelopment.

Over the last six months, The Blue Cross has undertaken a widespread review of animal welfare needs.

'New strategy'

Research conducted by the charity identified that animal welfare issues in some areas of the country, such as the North West, are not being sufficiently addressed.

"As a result, The Blue Cross has developed a new strategy to focus its efforts and investment in areas where it can have the greatest impact on animal welfare needs," said the charity.

The Blue Cross chief executive Kim Hamilton said: "Our charitable funds are becoming increasingly stretched, especially in the current financial climate, while animal welfare issues across the country are changing.

"The proposals we are discussing with staff aim to help more vulnerable animals and owners nationwide by focusing our limited resources in areas where we can achieve more."

The centre at Felixstowe, which opened in 1970, is based on the High Street, while the Northiam centre, which opened in the late 1960s, is based in St Francis Fields.

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