Horse charity closes its doors to the public

HorseWorld has announced it is closing its popular visitors centre after a planning application was turned down. The move could result in the loss of 28 jobs

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HorseWorld closing its visitor centre today

Horseworld near Bristol will be welcoming its final visitors today. The charity is closing its Whitchurch visitor centre at 4pm this afternoon, blaming a drop in donations and a rise in the number of horses needing help. It could mean the loss of 19 jobs.

Horseworld is looking into using the site for more rescue horses.

HorseWorld will close its Visitor Centre today. Credit: ITV News West Country

Union says charity "jumped the gun" over closure

The union representing staff at HorseWorld say the charity "jumped the gun with the announcement that its visitor centre will close tomorrow.

The announcement has left few options for the centre's staff.

Once they have announced they are closing the visitor centre there isn't really anywhere else for around 18 or 19 staff to go.

I think what the staff feel right across the board is that the charity has just not listened to them.

The staff had in fact come up with proposals to keep the centre going.

I think they feel basically the charity has taken its bat and ball away as they didn't get the planning permission to build 125 houses on the green belt land.

– Rowena Hayward, GMB Regional Officer

HorseWorld staff fear for jobs

The GMB Union is due to meet staff at HorseWorld near Bristol today to discuss redundancies. It's been announced that the visitor centre will close on Friday, putting 27 jobs at risk.

The charity had suffered from falling donations and more horses needing help and it had hoped that plans for a bigger visitor centre, as well as selling land for housing, would secure its future but it failed to win planning permission.

27 jobs are likely to go as HorseWorld is closing its visitor centre at Whitchurch. Credit: ITV News West Country

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Fears for Horseworld's future

Union leaders say staff at animal rescue charity HorseWorld feel stressed and let down after being told their jobs are at risk.

Around half the workforce at the attraction in Whitchurch near Bristol are under threat of redundancy.

Managers say a fall in donations mean they need to cut costs. But the charity's supporters have told us they're worried about its future.

Eli-Louise Wringe reports:-