Park Lane Stables can stay in Teddington, but must raise £40k for repairs

Help required: Trainee hand Daniel Vaughnley, veteran Park Lane Stables' pony Trigger, Natalie O'Rourke and Dr Cable. Credit: Brian Holder

Help required: Trainee hand Daniel Vaughnley, veteran Park Lane Stables' pony Trigger, Natalie O'Rourke and Dr Cable. Credit: Brian Holder

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A family run stable in danger of losing its home has been given one year to raise £40,000 for repairs.

Teddington’s Park Lane Stables, which is involved in numerous community and charity projects, has been run by Natalie O’Rourke since 2009 but rising property prices saw the business recently faced with being forced off the site.

After lengthy negotiations and support from Twickenham MP Vince Cable, the stable has been given a seven-year lease, on the condition that repairs worth £40,000 are made in the next year.

Ms O’Rourke said: "It’s a lot of money, but we’re still positive and have a huge amount of support from the community and from Dr Cable.

"We are creating an outreach programme. Anyone that can help in any way we can pay back with riding; we currently have an architect helping with the plans in return for riding lessons for his daughter."

Ms O’Rourke said the summer holidays were the busiest for the stables, but staff would organise cake sales and bring-and-buy sales throughout the year, in an attempt to raise the money by the July deadline.

Teddington artist Liz Knutt is painting the stables and selling prints of her artwork to help the cause.

Business Secretary Vince Cable visited the stables in May this year and has voiced his support for the organisation.

He said: "This is an enormously valuable and popular local service and Natalie and her team make a major contribution to helping people with learning difficulties, who benefit immensely from working with horses.

"It is vital we keep the stables in the community and I am working with the team to keep it running in the short term, while we look for a longer term solution."

There has been a stable on the Park Lane site since 1830, when it opened originally as a horse-drawn fire station.

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