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Smugglers Equestrian Centre able to offer riding lessons to beginners with support from UK Government and CCBC funding

Posted on : 11 Jul 2023

Smugglers Equestrian Centre able to offer riding lessons to beginners with support from UK Government and CCBC funding
Smugglers Equestrian Centre, based at Penderi Farm Lane Manmoel, Blackwood, offer Livery to the local community and Riding lessons, Horsebox Hire, Facility Hire as well as holding events. Melissa Burles started the business in 2017 with just 3 ponies and now has over 40, with fantastic facilities for their care and wellbeing.

Smugglers Equestrian Centre received £9000.00 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. This grant, match funded by the company, was dedicated towards Smugglers Equestrian Centre through Caerphilly County Borough Council’s intervention of UKSPF funds. There grant was to support with the purchase of a mechanical horse, so they can offer riding lessons to complete beginners, also to enable other riders to perfect their dressage movements and basic arena movements by practising balance. The Centre is the only facility in the whole of Wales to offer this facility.

The new project has safeguarded 2 employment positions enhancing the various roles of these employees. It also provides another source of income for them and attracts custom from further afield.

Melissa explained that “The grant we received from Caerphilly County Borough Council enabled us to offer a wider range of equestrian services by providing specific dressage, general riding and Riding for the Disabled (RDA) sessions via our mechanical horse.  This has been an invaluable asset to our centre as it provides risk free and safety orientated sessions particularly for nervous riders or children and adults with learning disabilities.  We also offer this service as group sessions for our local Riding and pony clubs and are soon to be delivering fitness sessions via ‘Legless’ the mechanical horse.”

“This new addition has secured jobs by adding a further source of income. Without the Grant from Caerphilly Council, we would not have been able to fund this new venture as the risk of the investment was too great. The application process was quick and efficient, the team were very helpful with all my queries and the decision came through very quick.”

Cllr Jamie Pritchard, Cabinet Member for Prosperity, Regeneration and Climate Change dropped by to see the new equipment, and to try-out this new experience for himself. He commented “It’s excellent to see a business like this expand through the help of Caerphilly Council and offer great facilities to the local area and it is pleasing to see that the Borough is the first to have such a facility in Wales. This new equipment will be very useful in introducing newcomers and more established riders better their experience.”

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