Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) chief executive, Ed Bracher, with chairman, Sam Orde, Blythe Liggins solicitor Kevin Mitchell, who handled the purchase of Lowlands Farm, Patrick Riley, who chairs the project committee for the new national training centre, and yard manager, Charlotte Williams on Rover. (Submitted photo)

WORK is beginning on the new £3.7million Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) national training centre in Shrewley.

The charity plans to move from its current national office in Warwick to the new site at Lowlands Farm by December next year.

The Lowlands Equestrian Centre, which has been used by four RDA groups for many years, will now be the national centre for training riding coaches and other volunteers from all the country.

There will be stables and grazing for 20 horses, indoor and outdoor arenas, training and conference facilities, and overnight accommodation and offices.

Ed Bracher, RDA chief executive, said: “We currently work with thousands of people across 500 sites in the UK, and to have national facilities is a big step for us.

“We are delighted that the council has supported us with planning permission and that we are going to be able to develop the facilities in this area.”

Planning permission was granted by Warwick District Council in June and the purchase of Lowlands Farm was completed in August.

A working group of RDA officers, architects and other advisers are now deciding on the next step regarding a phased development, including the demolition of existing equestrian buildings, the construction of new offices and the extension of the car park.

A fundraising campaign towards the cost of the work has reached its £40,000 target.

Some 18 Big Rides have notched up thousands of kilometres from both horses and humans, with over 750 people taking part overall.