Dear Member Re: HorseWorld Membership Scheme It is with regret

Dear Member
Re: HorseWorld Membership Scheme
It is with regret that we have to inform you of the closure of our Visitor Centre on Friday, 28th
February 2014.
Like many UK charities, HorseWorld has suffered from plummeting voluntary donations –
particularly legacies. At the same time the number of horses needing rescuing has sharply
increased. Despite some successes in increasing our income, particularly through increased visitor
numbers, a step change could only be achieved through a new visitor centre designed to
accommodate increased visitor numbers and encourage those visitors to stay longer. Accordingly,
planning applications were submitted to Bath & North East Somerset Council (B&NES) in May 2013
for an enabling development of housing on the visitor centre site with the sale proceeds used to
construct a new, purpose built visitor centre on the charity’s adjacent land.
The applications were considered by B&NES Development Control Committee (DCC) in November
2013 and despite recommendations for the applications from the planning officers the DCC
members chose not to approve the applications. This decision was made by councillors despite
being advised of the possible consequence that a refusal might result in the closure of the existing
Whitchurch visitor centre.
The planning refusal meant that the Trustees needed to review all possible options for saving costs,
including the closure of the visitor centre, which for many years has been incurring a deficit of
income over expenditure because the centre was no longer fit for purpose and required significant
expenditure simply to maintain the old and unsuitable buildings and facilities. It is also a costly
operation to staff because of its separate location from HorseWorld’s main facilities.
As a current holder of our annual membership scheme to the Visitor Centre we would like to thank
you for the support you have given us over the years.
As a consequence of the closure we are offering refunds based on the number of whole months you
have outstanding on your membership. However, should you not wish to receive a refund but to
donate this money to be used in the care of all the horses we have on-site or may rescue then we
would be most grateful.
Please email [email protected] by Friday, 29th March 2014 should you wish to receive your
refund and we will issue a cheque as soon as possible. If we do not hear from you by this date we
will assume that you wish to donate this money to the care of our horses.
Once again on behalf of the horses, ponies, donkeys and staff we would like to thank you for your
most valued support.
Yours sincerely
Nikki Bridges
Director of Finance
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