A riding centre has won funding to improve its facilities for disabled riders.

A completely refurbished indoor arena has been completed at Holcombe-based Margaret Haes Riding Centre on Moor Road and was officially opened by Ramsbottom MP James Daly.

The improvements have cost more than £20,000, with support coming from Sport England and Bury Council’s Social Capital Fund. Additional funding has come from Cormar Carpets, Bury Relief Fund, Bury Freemasons and Bury Athenaeum.

Centre operations manager Debra Batchelor said: “We are delighted with the support we’ve had from Sport England and Bury Council, as well as the local community.

“The improvements will allow us to provide better facilities for our riders, who are mostly disabled young people or those with special educational needs.”

She added: “Our volunteers themselves put a lot of effort into the project, helping remove old materials and in refurbishing the arena doors.”

The Margaret Haes Riding Centre, a registered charity, has been in Holcombe village for more than 50 years. It is dependent on voluntary support and has a team of experienced coaches who are accredited by the British Horse Society.

Linda Nuttall, volunteer and trustee of the charity, said: “We were delighted to welcome James to the centre to see what we’re doing.

“These improvements mean that we can offer more to the local community; we’re extremely grateful for the help we’ve received for this project but also the ongoing support we get from individuals and local businesses, particularly during these difficult last few months.

“And we really appreciated the time that James Daly took to see what we are doing.”

Mr Daly said: “The new facilities will allow some of the most vulnerable in our area to have the benefit of a fantastic environment to nurture a love of horses and riding.

“It was a pleasure to meet the team of dedicated volunteers who run the centre and some of the young people who benefit so much from this outstanding community asset."

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