Overbury has been appointed to deliver a new flagship national resource centre for trainee opticians in Birmingham.

ABDO, which represents over 6,000 qualified dispensing opticians in the UK, is taking 13,000 sq ft across two floors at the Aqueous building in Rocky Lane, Aston.

The facility will be the new location for all dispensing and contact lens practical examinations nationally, in a central location.

It will showcase the latest technology and a wide range of equipment for dispensing, refraction, contact lenses, screening, minor eye conditions services and glazing. The national resource centre represents ABDO’s largest single development project since 2001 and will be its first site in the Midlands.

Overbury will be responsible for the full fit out of the resource centre, which will include rooms divided by partition walls, ideal for dispensing practical exam sections, with the potential to be opened up for conferences, seminars, training, revision and other courses.

The project will also include rooms for viva exams and smaller meetings, a fully functional glazing lab and ten clinical bays equipped for a wide range of patient services including refraction and contact lenses. The fit out is scheduled for completion by June 2018.

Overbury has recently undertaken a Cat A refurbishment of the entire Aqueous building, one of nine separate units at Aston Cross Business Village which provide in excess of 175, 000 sq ft of office space at the canal-side site.

We are very pleased to have been appointed to deliver this prestigious new facility behalf of ABDO. We are excited by ABDO’s vision for the new office space and are looking forward to meeting the challenge of delivering an industry-leading facility that will allow for many new opticians to be trained and developed here in Birmingham.

Michele Clifton, Office Design Account Manager

ABDO has approximately 6,000 members, 1,800 student members worldwide, 500 members overseas and a further 500 associate members.

The professional body has offices in London and a College of Education in the South East, but the new national resource centre will represent its first facility opening in the Midlands. In close proximity to Birmingham city, the new centre is accessible within a few minutes of junction 6 of the M6 motorway. The equipment has been funded by donations and sponsorship from optical business, retail, frames, lenses, contact lenses, equipment and instrument manufacturing.

Alicia Thompson, director of professional examinations at ABDO, said: “The profession-wide generosity in helping us to make this facility a reality has been overwhelming and we are extremely grateful.

“ABDO’s National Resource Centre will be the pinnacle of training and assessment. The changing landscape of our profession will naturally expand our scope of practice and we need the facilities to ensure our members are both competent and confident to embrace change and explore the exciting potential this brings.”

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