Equine charity HorseWorld closed its Whitchurch visitor centre last week (28 February).

A vital planning application to build houses on the site and use the funds to build a £7million new centre was refused by the local council (news, 6 February).

Mark Owen of HorseWorld said: “It’s a bad and sad day, but we cannot run an uneconomic visitor centre.”

The 29 horses at the centre will be moved to the charity’s other premises at Keynes Farm, Whitchurch, near Bristol.

Mr Owen said 24 staff were affected by the closure of the centre, but no redundancies had been made “at this stage”.

HorseWorld has been operating at a loss for several years following a major drop in legacies and donations.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (6 March 2014)