Work is beginning on the new £3.7 million Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) national training centre in Shrewley, near Warwick.

The charity, whose president is Princess Anne, uses horse-riding and carriage driving to provide therapy for 25,000 disabled children and adults.

It plans to move from its current national office in Warwick to the new site at Lowlands Farm by December next year.

The Lowlands Equestrian Centre, which has been used by 4 RDA groups for many years, will now be the national centre for training riding coaches and other volunteers from all the country.

The charity’s chief executive Ed Bracher said there would be stables and grazing for 20 horses; indoor and outdoor arenas; training and conference facilities; and overnight accommodation and offices.
“As a working yard with indoor and outdoor arenas it will provide an ideal environment for hosting practical training sessions, workshop and demonstrations, events and competitions and will be an inspirational venue in which to bring together, train and inspire RDA volunteers and coaches from around the UK,” said Mr Bracher.

“We currently work with thousands of people across 500 sites in the UK. To have national facilities is a big step for us. We are delighted that the council has supported us with planning permission and that we are going to be able to develop the facilities in this area,” he said.

Kevin Mitchell, a partner and commercial lawyer with Blythe Liggins Solicitors in Leamington, handled all the legal work relating to the acquisition. “Our firm has acted for the RDA since it was launched back in 1969, providing all legal work and a legal helpline for the 500 RDA groups.

“The charity was granted planning permission in June and the final stage of the purchase was completed in August. A working group of RDA officers, architects and other advisers are now deciding on the next step regarding a phased development, including the demolition of existing equestrian buildings, the construction of new offices and the extension of the car park,” he said.

CAPTION: RDA chief executive Ed Bracher (left) with RDA chairman Sam Orde, Blythe Liggins solicitor Kevin Mitchell, Patrick Riley, who chairs the Project committee for the new national training centre, and yard manager Charlotte Williams on Rover.

Issued by Newsline PR. Tel: 01926 888308

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