Newbold Verdon Equestrian Centre is a family run livery yard and competition centre set in the rural Leicestershire countryside, having undergone a major redevelopment programme over the past 12 months.
The centre is owned and run by Martin Bates and his wife Sally. Martin was born on the farm and the pair have had liveries since 1987. In 2000, Martin decided to sell his pedigree dairy herd and diversify further into the equestrian world; they built a cross country course and started running dressage competitions and hosting training days.
Martin & Sally first engaged with the Howkins & Harrison team when they were looking to develop the farm to become a top-class equestrian centre. As such, they needed funding to help with the development and chose H&H as their partner due to Anna Meynell’s shared passion with all things equine.
Rural development Grant
The Howkins & Harrison Equestrian team highlighted the opportunity for Newbold Verdon Equestrian Centre to apply for a Rural Development Grant, which pays up to 40% of the total project costs of a project that fall under one of three remits: business development, food processing or rural tourism & infrastructure.
The process began with an expression of interest submitted by the
HHE team on behalf of Martin & Sally Bates, which was almost immediately
accepted and passed back to HHE to make the full application. The criteria for
the funding must hit a number of touchpoints to be eligible for the grant.
The criteria are:
Sustainable project plan
To grow the business
Open a new product to market
Anna was able to write the funding application, associated business plan and costing projection and submit for approval. The centre aims to support British Showjumping and British Dressage from grassroots right through to professional riders. The underlying mission of the centre has always been to be open and accessible to all, to be all-inclusive at the same time as providing the very best training and livery facilities.
Development work has now been completed and the centre is open.
Martin & Sally are utterly delighted with the build and the attention to
detail, including facilities such as an on-going surface, enabling riders and
their horses to warm up on the same surface as they compete, moving from the
outdoor warm up area to the indoor competition area without
stepping on a different surface. State of the
art fibre sand has been chosen to fulfil this
element of the centre’s uniqueness. The 5-year cash flow forecast and ongoing business projection developed as a part of the grant funding application process is now the
financial backbone of the business, whilst Martin
& Sally now engage Howkins & Harrison’s
rural surveyors to advise on different aspects
of their business – they now see the enormous benefits
of engaging someone else in the running of the business from an advisory standpoint.
Martin & Sally Bates say:
“Anna’s knowledge of the equestrian world truly set H&H apart from the other land and development specialists that we spoke to in regard to our plans for Newbold Verdon. Her professionalism and expertise to gain us funding to realise our plans were second to none and we are utterly delighted with the outcome, alongside the continued support provided by the wider H&H team. Their advice and guidance mean that we can get on with assisting British eventing and British show jumping from grass roots through to international athletes in the knowledge that our business is being nurtured and developed” Martin & Sally Bates