Land sale helps HorseWorld secure financial future

Whitchurch-based HorseWorld, which was established in 1952 to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome horses, ponies and donkeys, has sold nine acres to Bellway plc and Bristol-based Whitecroft Developments Ltd to enable the development of new homes on a site off Staunton Lane.

The development will help Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES) fulfil its new homes targets by 2026 as detailed in its Core Strategy.

Proceeds from the land sale will also secure HorseWorld’s financial future and support the charity’s day-to-day work. This includes its Discovery programme, which helps young people with special educational needs through a highly successful learning programme designed to boost their confidence, emotional well-being and life chances by bringing them together with rescued horses.

HorseWorld is currently responsible for more than 350 animals across the South West. Its 365-days-a-year animal welfare work is funded entirely through public donations.

Mark Owen, managing director of HorseWorld, said: “This agreement, which relates to five per cent of our landholding in the Whitchurch area, will help secure the financial future of the charity, without impacting on our key charitable objectives of rescuing neglected equines and helping young people with special educational needs through our Discovery courses.

“We are continuing with our equine rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming work with 110 horses at our adjacent Keynes Farm site, where we have 180 acres of land and extensive equine and educational facilities.”

The land sale transaction was led by Steve Schofield, commercial property partner at Thrings, who acted for Mark and the charity’s board of trustees on all legal, commercial and strategic property matters.

This included working alongside Julian Harbottle from Savills to provide advice on the planning process and dealing with a site which comprised open land and several substantial listed buildings.

Steve Schofield who is based at Thrings’ Bristol offices in the Paragon, said: “This is a hugely exciting period for HorseWorld, a charity which rescues, cares for and saves the lives of so many neglected, mistreated and abandoned animals every year.

“In recent times HorseWorld has made a number of strategic decisions based on securing its long-term future, and while donations from members of the public remain essential to funding the charity’s animal welfare work, proceeds from the sale will help with its day-to-day running costs.

“Thrings is very pleased to have helped HorseWorld fulfil its ambitions with regard to the sale of the land and provided advice which enables it to maximise its property portfolio. We wish Mark and his team every success as the charity prepares to enter a new and exciting phase in its long and proud history.”

Mark Owen added: “Thrings guided us throughout an extremely complex property deal, with Steve providing clear and practical advice and ensuring that HorseWorld’s best interests, as well as those of its trustees, were represented at all times.”

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