A NEW rehoming centre with stable blocks, schooling facilities and a refurbished donkey barn could be built at Redwings as part of a £1m redevelopment.
The charity has applied for planning permission to improve facilities at its Oxhill visitor centre, Banbury.
Redwings hopes the proposals, which also include an indoor arena and an all-weather turnout area, will help increase its rehoming operation, and free up space at the sanctuary for more horses in need.
Chief executive Lynn Cutress said: “We have owned the site at Oxhill since 2004 and have made do with the existing stable blocks since then, but they are not in great shape any more, unfortunately.
“If this plan is approved it would allow the site to rehome horses, which means we can make more space to rescue those horses in desperate need of our help and care.”
The charity also hopes to build new rehabilitation facilities to help its rescue and welfare work.
The £1m cost of the project will be part-funded by reserves set aside for the purpose, but Redwings also hopes to fundraise, if the plans are approved.
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Visitors will also benefit, as parking is to be expanded and the main visitor centre redeveloped.
Ms Cutress said: “We also find our centres that have rehoming facilities receive greater interest from visitors so with this added attraction and free entry, we believe our Oxhill centre will provide an even more fun and engaging day out, which is of great value and importance to our welfare and education work as well as our fundraising.
“The work would be phased over a 15 to 18-month period and we hope it will also allow us to employ more staff to care for and train our horses.”
There are almost 500 horses living in homes across East Anglia, who have been rehomed thanks to Redwings’ Guardianship scheme, which currently operates from the charity’s headquarters in Norfolk and a centre in Essex.