Horse sanctuary draws up £1million expansion plans

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More than £1million is set be invested improving facilities at an Oxhill horse and donkey sanctuary if Stratford District Council votes to approve the plans.

The proposal at the Redwings horse sanctuary would see it incorporate a new rehoming facility, a service currently not offered at the site, as well as a number of other changes.

The plans detail improvements at the visitor centre, the construction of three new stable blocks and the demolition and re-building of a donkey barn.

An all-weather turn out area would also be constructed and outdoor shelters would be built to protect visitors during bad weather.

Redwings say the existing visitor centre has evolved over time and some of the timber buildings on the site are in various stages of collapse.

The application seeks to remove these buildings while increasing the sanctuary’s appeal to visitors.

The redevelopment would also see parking facilities enlarged and improved, the construction of a new equipment and feed barn and a new indoor arena.

There would be a new rehabilitation and welfare building complete with staff offices, education area, staff quarters and turn out areas.

Lynn Cutress, CEO of Redwings, said: “We have owned the site at Oxhill since 2004 and have made do with the existing stable blocks since then, but they are starting to fall down.

“If this plan is approved it would allow the site to re-home horses. The difference we find when our sites have rehoming facilities, is that they see more interest from visitors. At the moment the Oxhill sanctuary is about a two-hour attraction, if this plan goes ahead I believe we will keep people interested for longer than that.

“The work would be phased over a 15-18 month period and when completed it would also allow us to hopefully bring in more staff. This redevelopment would be a big thing for us, Warwickshire is quite a horsey part of the world and this work would certainly raise awareness of the rehoming we do.”

Lynn added that the money to improve the site would come from the charity’s reserves and fundraising activities.