Development could create 30 jobs

UP to 30 new jobs and work for 10 prisoners could be created when a multi-million pound development is opened for the rare Suffolk Punch horse.Plans have been submitted to Suffolk Coastal District Council for a £4m development at Hollesley, near Woodbridge.

UP to 30 new jobs and work for 10 prisoners could be created when a multi-million pound development is opened for the rare Suffolk Punch horse.

Plans have been submitted to Suffolk Coastal District Council for a £4m development at Hollesley, near Woodbridge.

The Suffolk Punch Trust, a registered charity, is buying about 190 acres of land from the Prison Service and it also wants to buy the existing stud buildings, the horses, their equipment, and some of the rights of access to local trails.

It intends to develop an education and heritage centre, rural craft shops, a visitor centre with restaurant and toilets, stables and covered exhibition areas, working areas and paddocks for the horses, and 199 car parking spaces.

The Trust says there could be 20 full-time and 10 part-time jobs, and work for 10 inmates. It is expected that between 50 and 75 cars a day will visit the site and a maximum of 200 vehicles will be imposed for special events.

However, the Trust is keen to bring in policies to encourage visitors to use public transport – and there will be a financial incentive for car drivers to take as many passengers as possible.

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G H Bullard and Associates, civil and traffic engineering consultants, said: ''The proposal is to provide an attractive visitor centre and stables where the future of the Suffolk Punch can be secured whilst providing members of the public with the opportunity to view and admire the horses.''

They hope that visitors will made a day out in the Suffolk countryside and also take in the National Trust's Sutton Hoo visitor centre – rather than making trips on two days.

Cyclists will be encouraged to come to the Suffolk Punch stud and they will be given changing and shower facilities. A public bus service passes the farm and this will be highlighted to people thinking of visiting the new attractions.

The Trust needs £4m for the development which aims to secure the long-term future of the breeding stud by expanding its work as a breeding centre of excellence, increasing horse numbers and allowing the public greater access to the Suffolk Punch. Groups of schoolchildren will use the development as an educational tool.

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