Work starts on ‘unique’ equine therapy centre

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Aled Thomas donating JCB equipment to the Westlake Equine Centre. Pic © David Haycocks JMU Journalism

Work has started on a groundbreaking new project that could create more than 100 jobs for people in Wirral, Chester and West Cheshire.

Westlake is a community interest company that will deliver a range of treatments, including horse-assisted therapies which scientists say help with conditions such as autism, stress-disorders, depression, anger and mental illness.

The complex on 25 acres of land just off the Welsh road in West Cheshire is to be converted into a major disabled-friendly centre, providing various outdoor activities and learning services.

Westlake has been given £9,500 by The Big Lottery Fund awards in an attempt to kick-start the project.

Organisers have also received a donation of a digger from Gunn JCB, whose representative, Aled Thomas, told JMU Journalism: “We learnt about what Westlake were doing and wanted to help the fantastic cause.

“There’s lots of potential to provide the community with opportunities to do things they might not usually be able to do. There’s a lot of hard work going into these things and we hope to get involved with more in the future.”

The Big Lottery fund, Gunn JCB and of course Westlake have all come together to raise awareness and funds for the project that could better disabled therapy in the local and wider communities. Co-owner of Westlake, David Lockwood, told JMUJournalism: “I think that Westlake will open up a wealth of opportunities to not only the surrounding areas or the North West, but beyond as well.

“The thing about this facility is that it’s unique – there’s nothing else like it.”

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