A decade of dreaming has formally ended at an Aldingbourne site.
The Duke of Richmond declared the headquarters of the Aldingbourne Trust formally open in his role as the charity’s patron.
The ceremony and celebration at the £4m Quarry Building at the Aldingbourne Country Centre was the result of planning by the trust which dates back to 2009.
The Duke of Richmond said: “The Quarry Building is the culmination of 10 years of designing, securing support, funding and construction.
“It offers a new vision for social care – where local businesses, the community and people who have learning disabilities and/or autism can learn, work and prosper.
“It’s a model which is attracting international attention. The impressive building is a new West Sussex gem which I would encourage everyone to visit.”
The Duke’s family have supported the Aldingbourne Trust, for many years. His father opened the centre’s wood recycling project in 2006.
Some of this wood is powering the three-storey Quarry Building, which came into use last September.
The country centre is in Blackmill Lane, just north of the A27. It boasts an indoor slide, a cafe, meeting rooms and a shop for members of the public to use.
Two of the centre’s members, Sean Simmonds and James Weller, spoke to the guests about how much they enjoy being involved with all the opportunities on offer at the centre and their pride in the Quarry Building.
James said: “The new building means a lot to me. It is a place to chat to the public, a place to work, have fun and learn new skills.”