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The team at Hoof Club CIC (Community Interest Company), based in Braydon, Wiltshire has announced they have secured £68,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund. 

Since 2011, Inspired Facilities has been helping breathe new life into tired community sports facilities and converting existing buildings into venues suitable for grassroots sport.  

This grant has been awarded alongside partnership funding from Rein & Shine Ltd and will be used to expand the extremely popular Hoof Club programme. It will involve converting a disused farm building into a training centre comprising an accessible classroom, clubroom and office. Restroom facilities will also be upgraded.

Hoof Club CIC, a not for profit organisation, offers riding and horse welfare training from aged 4 years old, to the entire community, including the opportunity for special educational needs children to have access through their schools at discounted rates.

This can be via single term sessions, academic year courses, and two or three-year post education vocational courses. The educational courses can lead to BHS (British Horse Society) qualifications or even City and Guilds training. Competition training courses including show jumping, arena eventing and cross country training programs are also being expanded as a result.

The facility will become a cornerstone for the Special Educational Needs (SEN) community and can offer immediate free taster sessions to SEN/D departments of schools and colleges.

Hoof Club CIC director, John McDonald, said: “Our Hoof Club has been widely embraced by the local community and we’ve attracted over 100 members in the last two-years. However, limited facilities have restricted any further growth. There is a large untapped demand for equine training which has been evidenced via local councillors, special needs school advisers and the local community. The initiative has also gained support from our local MP partly due to the planned increase in employment that this facility will generate.”

Work is set to commence at the end of this year and anyone interested in riding and equine training including schools, colleges and individuals can start applying for courses immediately. 

Sport England Property Director, Charles Johnston, said: “The Inspired Facilities Fund has had a huge impact on grassroots sport across the country. Since 2011, we’ve invested £102 million into more than 1,920 projects to improve and refurbish sports clubs and transform non-sporting venues into vibrant community sports clubs. It’s great to see Hoof Club CIC join the long list of successful clubs to benefit from this fund.”

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