Riding centre owners in East Midlands are being offered free business skills courses by the Learning & Skills Council.
Entitled “EMride” (East Midlands Riding Industry Development Enterprise), the courses will offer advice on crime prevention, marketing, insurance, IT, child protection and diversification.
The courses will run throughout March, with three sessions in each of the six East Midlands counties.
Project co-ordinator Debbie Nicholls has been helping implement the courses on behalf of Advice and Training East Midlands (ATEMS).
“I was recently involved in developing an equestrian tourism and leisure strategy in Leicestershire and thought it would be exciting to move some of the ideas on across the East Midlands,” she said.
Sandi and Mike Austin run Austin’s Equine, a livery and Western and English riding centre in Alford, Lincolnshire. They have both signed up for their local course.
“We thought it was an incredibly good opportunity to learn more marketing skills,” said Sandi. “We want to expand our business into Europe so thought this could help.”
Candidates will learn how to make and manage a website, and will learn tourism and marketing initiatives and crime prevention methods. They will also be offered advice on establishing a Pony Club centre and environmental practices such as straw recycling.
Northants: 19 March, 26 March, 2 April at Kettering Park Hotel, Kettering, Kettering Parkway, Northants NN15 6XT (J9 A14)
Derbyshire: 20 March, 29 March, 3 April at Alison House Hotel, Cromford, near Matlock DE4 3RN
Lincolnshire: 22 March, 28 March, 4 April at Admiral Rodney Hotel, North Street, Horncastle LN9 5DX
Notts: 19 March, 26 March, 2 April at West Retford Hotel, North Road, Retford DN22 7XG
Leicestershire: 20 March, 27 March, 3 April at Quorn Country Hotel, Quorn, Nr Loughboro LE12 8BB
For more information visit: www.atems.co.uk