Talking West Cheshire

New equine study for Cheshire West aims to create new jobs

26 October 2010

Cheshire West’s equine industry is under the microscope in a new partnership which aims to support and attract new businesses to the area from across the UK.

The work will be carried out thanks to a partnership between Cheshire West and Chester Council and the University of Liverpool.

The Council’s Rural Agenda and Market Towns Team have secured funding for the project that will use the expertise of the Neston-based University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science and the University’s Management School.

The Rural Team will focus on ways to support the Equine Sector to maximise its economic impact and create employment opportunities.

Cheshire has a strong horse heritage - Chester Racecourse is the country’s oldest racecourse dating back to the 16th century and the region hosts national events at Chester Racecourse and Bolesworth Castle, including Show Jumping, Racing and Polo.

In addition, there is an extensive equine business, which includes training yards, feed merchants, saddlers and other equipment suppliers, all of which will be incorporated into the study.

Cheshire West and Chester Council hope the new study will provide valuable information about the horse industry, helping to develop new opportunities in events, support, and training as well as new job opportunities.

Councillor Stuart Parker, Assistant Executive Member for Prosperity, said: “The horse industry is extremely important for the economy of west Cheshire.

“The business acumen, experience and knowledge of the Equine Sector from this Borough is respected across the UK.

“We want to capitalise on this wealth of experience and see if we can create more economic opportunities for the industry.

“In addition to the added support we will be able to direct at the important equine sector, we hope this project will also be the start of future partnerships with the University of Liverpool to deliver further collaborative projects.”

The six month project is due to start in November and will be led by Professor John Wilson from the University’s Management School, who will work closely with Professor Chris Proudman from the University’s School of Veterinary Science and student Sam Favager in compiling a comprehensive report on the Cheshire equine industry to help to focus future development policies.

Professor Wilson, said: "The University is very pleased to be working with Cheshire West and Chester Council on this project, bringing together a range of our experts to support the Rural Agenda and Market Towns Regeneration Team.

“We would like to make contact with as many people as possible in developing this project, in order to cover the wide spectrum of interests represented in the equine industry."

University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science, Neston

Photo: Professor John Wilson, Councillor Stuart Parker, Professor Chris Proudman, Sarah Young, Sam Favager and Chris Capes from Cheshire West and Chester Council at the University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science, Neston