The Equine Sector Investment Strategy for Greater Merseyside has been formulated to direct expenditure from the Rural Development Programme for England. It has been adopted by the Liverpool City-Region's Rural LAG, who control a financial allocation from the Rural Development Programme for England. Its content will be used to inform spending priorities within the Merseyside RDPE allocation as well as to assist decision-makers taking decisions in respect of other public investment programmes. It is also published to assist applicants seeking to make applications to the LEADER LAG specifically, so they know what activities may be funded, and to offer an overall framework for public investment so that the sum of all individual projects is greater than the parts.
An overview of the national equestrian economy:
The British Equine Trade Association regularly publishes the detail of the British Equine Industry. Its latest report is for 2011. The Report notes that the horse industry is more varied than almost any other sector either within agriculture or in the wider leisure industry. Essentially it divides the horse industry into two parts:
1. Activities based on the use, possession or ownership of horses (core activities)
2. Suppliers of horse related goods and for those core activities (providers to the core)
Activities forming the core part of the industry range from professional through to leisure. In between, are many semi-professional riders and participants whose interest is split between earning a living and pure leisure activity. The industry core caters directly for the needs of consumers. The activities geared toward professional riders include commercial breeders, affiliated sports such as dressage and show jumping, training and racing. The leisure oriented activities include the provision of riding lessons, trekking and tourist attractions.
The other part of the industry is made up of providers of goods and services to the core. Examples include farriery, feed supply and veterinary services, livery yards etc. Each of these components offer employment to significant numbers of people, often in a rural community where other work and employment opportunities are reducing.
Download the full strategy document (pdf)