Charity returning to Rugby town centre
An organisation which helps millions of people across the world fight poverty is moving its global headquarters to Rugby's town centre.
Practical Action will relocate its entire UK Head Office to the Robbins Building in Albert Street from September 24, returning to the town after a 20-year absence.
The move includes 111 staff members and the charity hopes it will bring investment to the town centre.
Practical Action has been located in The Schumacher Centre, locally known as Bourton Hall, since 1998.
The building was officially opened by the charity’s patron HRH The Prince of Wales in 1999.
While in Bourton-on-Dunsmore, Practical Action changed its name from The Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) and opened offices in West Africa, Bolivia, Malawi and Rwanda.
Practical Action’s CEO Paul Smith Lomas said: “We have loved our time at The Schumacher Centre, but we are very excited about our move to Rugby which has been in the pipeline for a while now.
“Bourton Hall is a beautiful building in a fantastic location, but it is costly to heat and maintain and difficult to get to without using your own transport.
“As with many other organisations we are moving towards a more agile, flexible way of working and the new offices will allow us to be greener, so we are more in line with the philosophy of Practical Action. We can’t wait to move in to our new home and we hope it will bring some welcome new investment and business opportunities to the town.”
A spokesperson said: “Practical Action is a global innovator, inspiring people to discover and adopt ingenious, practical ways to free themselves from poverty and disadvantage.
“Alongside its publishing and consulting staff, it works with people in countries across Africa, South East Asia and Latin America to help them lift themselves out of poverty.”
The organisation’s work focuses on bringing modern, renewable energy to some of the one billion people living without it.
Additionally, it works towards improving outputs for millions of small-holder farmers, helping vulnerable communities better prepare for, and cope with, natural disasters and improving water, sanitation and waste management in urban slums and remote rural communities.
Practical Action employs more than 100 staff in the UK, with a total of 500 worldwide.
It has offices in Bangladesh, Bolivia, India, Malawi, Nepal, Peru, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan and Zimbabwe.
Staff at the organisation’s Rugby head office are responsible for coordinating group finances, management, knowledge sharing, fundraising and marketing.
From 2016-17, the charity helped 1.2million people gain access to clean, modern energy, enabled 1 million people improve their livelihoods, supported 334,000 people in reducing their vulnerability to natural disasters and helped 234,000 people access clean water, sanitation and waste services.
In that time, it raised £33.2 million – of which 90p in every £1 was spent directly on its charitable initiatives, 9p was used to generate future revenue and 1p was used for management and admin.