THE first spade went into the ground to signal the start of works to build a £6.8million dog rehoming centre yesterday as a host of famous faces watched on.

Works began on building the Dogs Trust building on land by the Nevendon roundabout, off the A127.

Former Only Way is Essex star Amy Childs was among the guests celebrating the start of the centre’s construction.

The charity’s new centre will be complete in 2014.

Miss Childs, 22, said: “It’s amazing to be part of such a great charity and I can’t wait for the centre to open up here.

“We’re all animal lovers in Essex and it will be great for the county.

“I absolutely love dogs and I think I’ll probably be down here every week when it opens.”

The five-acre site, which is expected to open its doors next spring, will have 69 glass kennels, a veterinary suite, rehabilitation centre, exercise areas, and a training barn.