Plans for a new headquarters for a charity that helps disabled children and adults through horseriding have been given the go-ahead.
Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is a charity that provides therapy to children and adults with disabilities through horse riding all over the UK.
The charity currently supports around 25,000 riders and carriage drivers and there are 500 RDA groups in the UK.
The RDA currently has a centre called the “Lowlands Equestrian Centre” in Shrewley, near Warwick and plans were submitted by the charity to create a national training centre on the site.
The plans had received more than 60 letters in support from people across the UK including from Warwickshire, Cardiff, Birmingham and Falkirk and on June 2 the plans were given the green light.
The site will be extended and the current equestrian buildings will be demolished to make way for the new centre.
The new facility, which will not only provide a national training centre for volunteers and those looking to set up RDA centres, but would also become the national headquarters for the charity.
New offices and more car parking will also be built.
Ed Bracher, chief executive of RDA, said: “We currently work with thousands of people across 500 sites in the UK. To have national facilities is a big step for us.
“We are delighted that the council has supported us with planning permission and delighted that we are going to be able to develop the facilities in this area.
“We will be able to continue and expand the service we provide at the moment as we believed it will significantly improve the whole site.”
The new headquarters would attract volunteers from RDA centres across the UK.
Mr Bracher continued: “We have got people from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Cornwall who are all really excited about coming to a centre like this where they can learn and share their experiences.
“The site is a beautiful place for us to put our headquarters and I think the riders will appreciate the scenery. At the moment the site is owned by Ro Pudden who has run the Shrewley site for 30 years as her own thing but we will be buying this from her.
“She is now in her 80s and will be retiring. For us to protect her legacy is an important part of this plan.
“We hope to finish the building work around September/October 2018. In 2019 it is the 50th anniversary of the organisation so we will kick off the celebrations by opening the centre.”