Photograph by Catherine Smyth

A CATTERY that last year won the Customer Friendly title at Hyndburn Business Awards is so popular it has feline friends booked in to stay in 2021. Rhoden Manor Cattery was purpose built on land at Higher Rhoden, Oswaldtwistle. A joiner by trade, Craig Dodding designed and built the complex, on an area previously used for stables.

He said: “I got planning permission before we bought the property, built the cattery in 2016 and started trading on June 1. The building is very well insulated and each chalet has under-floor heating, so unlike a cattery that uses radiators all the chalets enjoy the same temperature. The heating is also green being provided by an air source heat pump and we have just invested in a new vehicle that is a plug-in hybrid so because most of our journeys are local they don’t require fuel.”

He was surprised but delighted to find out that satisfied customers had nominated his business. Craig said: “It was really exciting to be at the awards, my son Josh who is 16 and my wife Claire accompanied me. It was great to see so many businesses doing well and it is fantastic for Hyndburn. It makes you proud of the little businesses that put Hyndburn on the map. I didn’t expect to win especially because of who I was up against, but when they started reading the citation I knew it was me. The award and certificate are now in pride of place in the cattery and we mention it on our website.”

Rhoden Manor is classified as a five star cattery licensed for a maximum of 66 cats, with two penthouse chalets that can accommodate up to five cats each. Each chalet has a cat flap leading to a personal outdoor space with an artificial grass ‘catio’. Music is played in the two suites housing the chalets and the cats are very chilled. Videos of the cats ‘on holiday’ are recorded and posted on Facebook or sent to owners, so wherever in the world the owner is they can have peace of mind knowing their beloved pets are content. The business is set in a stunning rural location with deer, a heron, a kingfisher and up to 20 ducks as neighbours.

Craig said: “We are a family business and we live on site. We provide a customer friendly service and it has to be spot on. New customers are welcome to tour the facilities when we are open and we have cat customers who travel from as far away as Liverpool. We provide a safe and secure home-from-home.”

Nominations will open from March 12 to April 16 and the presentation ceremony will be on Tuesday June 18.

Story by Catherine Smyth Media