Bath architects draw up plans to secure horse charity’s long-term future

July 10, 2013

Ambitious plans aimed at safeguarding equestrian charity and visitor attraction HorseWorld have been drawn up by Bath architecture practice Stubbs Rich.

The scheme would allow HorseWorld, the UK’s leading horse charity, to sell off part of its site, including its out-dated visitor centre, for housing – bringing in much-needed funds to secure its future and widen its appeal.

HorseWorld, in Whitchurch, near Bristol, employs 62 people and has 140 dedicated volunteers.

Stubbs Rich’s plans, which have just been submitted to Bath & North East Somerset Council, include a 250-seat indoor equestrian school, café catering for 200 customers, play areas, classrooms and an interactive museum. The new centre has been designed around a central pathway to allow visitors to see much more of the charity’s rehabilitation work.

To fund the scheme Stubbs Rich plans 125 homes are built on the site of the existing visitor centre, which is no longer fit for purpose and too small to cope with demand.

Stubbs Rich has incorporated as much of the existing buildings and infrastructure as possible into its masterplan. The firm has also designed the new buildings and 250-space car park specifically to respect views into the site, with extensive screening and agricultural-style buildings using non-reflective surfaces.

Stubbs Rich partner David Beckett, who devised the designs, said: “This is a hugely interesting and exciting project to be involved with. Horseworld’s new visitor centre would see the charity thrive for decades to come, as well as providing much-needed housing in this attractive and popular area of North East Somerset.”

Changes have been made to the original proposals for the site in response to feedback from an extensive public consultation. The revised plans include additional measures to ease traffic and enhance pedestrian safety.

HorseWorld managing director Mark Owen said: “I cannot overstate how important the new visitor centre is to the survival of HorseWorld. The plans come at a time when there are more horses than ever needing our help. Without the new visitor centre, I fear for the many horses which need our care.”


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