A Bingley riding school raided by thieves earlier this year has won permission to relocate to a more secure location in Harden.
Saddles and tack worth about £6,000 were stolen from St Ives Equestrian Centre in February and owner Nicki Whaites said she was now looking forward to moving her business to Harden Grange Farm, Harden, next month.
“It will be wonderful – it’s always been my dream to have my own riding centre away from anything else and that’s just what the new place will be,” Miss Whaites said.
She took over the riding school at the St Ives Equestrian Centre some 18 months ago after years as one of its key workers and will run the new venture together with her sister Amie Greenwood.
“We’ve only just been given approval and it’s fantastic news.
“So now it’s time to start work and get the new place shipshape because I want us up and running within a month,” Miss Whaites said.
Set in more than 60 acres of land, the new location off Harden Road was perfect, she said. “There are great fields which go down a lovely wood and because it’s on its own away from everything it’s an ideal place for children to learn to ride, from a welfare point of view, as there is no public access. And that also makes it generally much more secure,” she added.
Work approved by Bradford Council planners includes clearing farm debris and creating an exercise yard, plus transforming a timber cattleshed into stabling for ponies.
An existing stable block will be cleaned and renovated. Miss Whaites said the centre would initially house some 15 horses for the riding school and six horses in full livery.
“We have a really successful Pony Club with at least 40 kids who don’t have their own horses, but who can come and learn how to ride.
“And it will be just great for the children to learn about and interact with horses at the new place where there is just so much space!” said a delighted Miss Whaites.
Anyone interested in attending the new centre can contact Miss Whaites on 07970 497352.
Bingley and St Ives Riding For the Disabled is still based at the St Ives Equestrian Centre and has always been separate from the riding school. Treasurer Barbara Chuter said: “At the moment we are still carrying on there and doing very well, although it is currently up for sale.”