£85,000 Boost for Thorney Riding School and Rutland Farm
£85,000 Boost for Thorney Riding School and Rutland Farm

Pictured: Laura Horrell with Sprite, one of the riding school’s horses.

A combined £85,000 worth of LEADER grant funding has been awarded to a Thorney based riding school and livery yard and a Rutland farm to support their growth thanks to a grant facilitated by Opportunity Peterborough with support from Rutland County Council.

Middle East Farm Riding School, which trades as Bar Pasture Stables, has received £57,941 to build a new indoor training arena at its new site off the A47. The yard has been running from Thorney for seven years and is home to 17 horses, offering riding lessons for individuals and groups of all ages and abilities, as well as livery. 

Laura Horrell, Bar Pasture Stables Manager said, “Having an indoor arena means we can hold our classes year-round no matter the weather; ice, rain and heavy winds can be problematic and potentially dangerous for beginner riders, so with only outdoor space available at the moment, we reschedule quite a few lessons.

“An indoor facility also means we can diversify more easily like making the space available for other riding groups and the wider public to use. This way we can grow the business without compromising on the high-quality, personalised service our clients receive during their lessons.”

Groundworks are scheduled to begin in August to have the building completed by November.

The second grant recipient is Manor Farm in Rutland, which was awarded £25,540 towards a Direct Drill to improve cultivation and soil quality. As part of the agreement, Manor Farm will be offering other farmers the chance to see the real benefits that a Direct Drill can bring. The farm produces a quality range of food crops for human and animal consumption.

Andrew Morley, owner of Manor Farm said, “A direct drill is a significant investment so this LEADER funding will have a huge impact on our work. Our soil will be better maintained meaning we can improve productivity and potentially expand our work.”

LEADER grants aim to boost the rural economy, from supporting tourism and small business growth to aiding the development of agriculture, farm diversification and forestry. In rural Peterborough and Rutland, the £1.3 million funding programme is being delivered by Opportunity Peterborough with support from Rutland County Council.

Steve Bowyer, chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough said, “Both these grants will support real business growth but will have additional benefits for building local skills at the riding school and enhancing environmental management with the new drill. Supporting the rural economy is vital – particularly given the huge role it plays across Rutland and Peterborough. With only a few weeks left until the application window closes, we would like to urge anyone who has not completed their Expressions of Interest to complete and submit it by 31 August.”

This work is supported by a Local Action Group (LAG) made up of 14 local volunteers from a variety of sectors and professions. The LAG approves funding for projects with the aim of improving the overall prosperity of the area.

Dennis Stanley, Chair of the LAG said, “It’s great to have had these two grants approved ahead of the 31 August deadline for expressions of interest. It shows the breadth of projects that the programme can, and has, supported.”

Cllr Oliver Hemsley, Leader of Rutland County Council added, “Nearly £400,000 worth of grant funding has already been awarded to support businesses across rural Peterborough and Rutland which is brilliant news. More applications are being processed and evaluated so we would hope to see this figure increase by the time of final grant approvals next March.”

To read more about the grants that have been awarded through the LEADER programme click here.