A Staffordshire equestrian centre has completed the first stage of a major expansion programme, designed to make it one of the Midlands’ leading venues.

Aston Manor Liveries in Aston, near Market Drayton, is nearly half way through its five-figure redevelopment programme, and has just completed a new 70 x 35m arena with a state-of-the-art all-weather riding surface.

“We’re thrilled with the arena,” said Debbie Slater who owns the centre with her husband, Michael. “Riders expect so much more these days so we’re trying to make sure everything is just right.”

In the future the couple are planning to offer tailored horse and rider holidays, and specialist clinics and coaching programmes. The centre has already staged dressage clinics with Zoe Cappaert and show jumping clinics with Alex Trickett.

Two new jobs have been created at the centre — a groom and a yard manager — and the Slaters expect to employ more as the facility is developed.

“The expansion started five years ago and we hope it will be completed by 2009 at the latest,” said Debbie. “The UK equestrian industry is growing at a healthy rate and we will be well positioned to tap into it.”

For more information visit www.astonmanorliveries.co.uk