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Tompkins Knight & Son transforms garage into research lab

The facility will launch in October with a guest optometrist speaker from the US

Brian Tompkins

Tompkins Knight & Son Optometrists (TK&S) has transformed a derelict garage that was destroyed by a fire two years ago into a modern facility for optometry research.

The Northampton-based practice has invested in the research and development (R&D) laboratory and learning space as part of its 150th anniversary celebrations.

Optometrist Brian Tompkins, who owns TK&S with his wife, Nicky, said: “We are proud of our past and we are excited for our future. For 150 years TK&S has been at the forefront of eye health and the technology at our disposal today means we can continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible in eye care.

“The garage R&D lab is the latest step in our journey and it will allow us to host some of the finest optometrists in the world, sharing their knowledge and allowing our team to practice the pioneering techniques that will make a long-lasting difference to patients’ lives.”

The facility with launch on 10 October with an event that features American optometrist, Dr Tom Arnold, who will discuss the latest research around specialist scleral contact lenses.

Mr Tompkins added that the secret to the success of TK&S has been its refusal to stand still.

“We are always pushing, always progressing. That’s what the founders believed back in 1868 and it’s still very much the case today,” he shared.

The company was originally formed by Alfred Knight who teamed up with his father, James, who was a watchmaker, to open Knight & Son, a jewellers and optometrists on Mercers Row in Northampton.

Alfred’s grandson, Monty, teamed up with Mr Tompkins in 1980 to form TK&S. In 1994, the practice moved to its current home in Kingsley Road – a Victorian townhouse that was the family home of shoemaker, GT Hawkins.