By September 2003 Ian had written a proposal for the redevelopment of the centre as the buildings were dilapidated and no longer fit for purpose.  By December 2003 the proposal had been agreed and planning started for the centre that you now see today.  
 
It took a further five years to raise the funds required to build the new centre which cost £14 million.  The money was raised from government grants, sale of land, through a partnership with Bromford Housing and the remainder through the capital appeal which was very successful and one of the largest ever carried out in the West Midlands area.  We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to this appeal.
 
The new building was designed with the help of visually impaired people to make sure that it catered specifically for their needs.  A gym, recreation room, restaurant, equipment and advice centre, charity shop and residential homes were all incorporated into the plan. This means that the centre can now cater for more blind and visually impaired people within the local area, as with the ageing population the needs for our services are likely to increase.  Thankfully the charity is now in a much healthier position than when Ian started.
 
Today Ian hands over the reins to his successor Arwyn Jones who was previously the Commercial Director at Keep Britain Tidy.  Arwyn’s partner has a visual impairment so he knows the challenges that people suffering with sight loss face on a daily basis.  
 
All of us at the Beacon Centre look forward to welcoming Arwyn to the team on 28th January 2013 and would like to thank Ian for the legacy he has left behind.  
 
For further information please contact Kelly Vickers on 01902 880111 or email kvickers@beacon4blind.co.uk