A brand new riding centre held its grand opening on Friday – and it is even bigger and better than the centre it has replaced.
The Barleylands Equestrian Centre celebrated its re-opening at its new home and is looking forward to welcoming old and new visitors.
The former Longwood Equestrian Centre relocated to its larger home as part of the regeneration programme for Basildon. Basildon Council worked with the centre’s owners to find new premises, and the riding school has since transferred to Whites Farm in Barleylands, Billericay. The opening ceremony was attended by Mo Larkin, the Deputy Lieutenant of Essex, members of Basildon Council and guests.
The owner and manager of Barleylands Equestrian Centre are delighted that the new venue will offer more space to allow better opportunities and facilities for riders, including riding for the disabled.
The new site is situated in a central location, accessible for residents in Basildon, Wickford and Billericay. Construction work to create modern new facilities is nearly completed and the new centre is now eager to welcome both old and new visitors.
The centre offers room to provide a range of teaching, showground and stable management facilities, for those involved in horse riding, as well as for spectators and the community to enjoy. These include an indoor arena with viewing area, teaching rooms, 4 maneges and outdoor riding instruction area. The centre covers 48.62 acres, with 44 stables housing the school’s horses as well as offering stabling management for local horse owners plus a winter hack track of 1,784 m and a summer hack track of 4,804 m.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Cllr Kevin Blake, Basildon Council cabinet member for leisure and the arts"]I was delighted to take part in the celebratory event. I was greatly impressed by the state-of-the art premises - including Olympic size dressage arena - which are accredited with the British Horse Society and provide excellent riding facilities for Basildon. The school will be a great asset for the wider community, providing opportunities for young and old to pursue this great activity – as well as the therapeutic benefit for disabled riders. I am certain this new location will prove very popular.[/quote]
The move is part of a long-term strategy to reinvigorate the town centre and generate economic growth across the borough.
We have always said our priority is to generate a stronger local economy through regeneration and building business opportunities and jobs for local people.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Centre manager, Ian Lewington"]We are delighted to be open for business in these modern premises. The location will be good as it will be more accessible to all parts of the borough and I think this will be a great opportunity to attract more people into horse riding, which is a great outdoor activity. The stabling will provide housing for our own horses and for other horse owners around the area. As a centre for a popular activity this complements what Barleylands offers to the community.[/quote]