A trio of family members are riding high in their bid to becoming one of South Yorkshire’s most successful equestrian centres, after securing a package of business finance to enable the horse-loving entrepreneurs to realise their growth ambitions.

Gavin Redfern, his wife Shelley and daughter Nina Whiteley have secured a package which includes a five-figure investment from NPIF – BEF & FFE Microfinance, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, to develop the corporate side of their family business.

The funds will be used to support the development and future plans for their equestrian and livery business, True Fate Equestrian Centre, as well as enhancing their existing B2B services including corporate events.

Launched in October 2017, True Fate Equestrian provides a comprehensive range of equestrian services such as horse riding lessons, high quality livery packages and corporate arena hire from its purpose-built centre based in-between Yorkshire Wildlife Park and DSA Airport in Doncaster.

Drawing on a lifelong career working with horses and after discovering their dream site, the high-riding threesome decided to sell the family home in order to fund their business ambitions, purchasing the land and setting their plans in motion.

With a large purchase in the saddle and funds running low, Gavin and Shelley decided to reach out for financial help, calling upon a high street bank in the hope of securing a business loan. However, after the application was rejected, the trio discovered help may be closer to hand than they first anticipated. After consulting with Mark Flanagan (Platinum Money) an introduction was made to Doncaster-based Finance For Enterprise for help.

Responsible for providing alternative business lending, Finance For Enterprise helps businesses throughout the Sheffield City Region, the North Midlands and the Humber, to access tailored lending, as well as practical business support from experienced business advisors.

Working alongside a dedicated and experienced investment manager, Gavin and Shelley were able to secure a tailored lending package developed by Finance For Enterprise, to provide the vital funding needed to invest in new facilities, including the creation of an all-weather surface arena to enable riding lessons to take place all year round.

After just eight months, True Fate Equestrian Centre is growing rapidly, having forged successful collaborations with local riding schools who have leased the facility to support new riders. They now have a growing number of events already booked this year by other equestrian businesses to use the facilities available at the centre. The family is also putting plans into place to provide riding lessons and specialist vocational services aimed at supporting disabled riders, working closely with a number of not-for-profit business organisations.

The investments have created five new jobs and the family is hoping to create additional opportunities for individuals interesting in pursuing careers within the equestrian industry.

Two members of staff are currently working towards achieving British Horse Society (BHS) accreditation and Nina is progressing in her career as an instructor after working alongside Royal Ascot winning racehorse trainer Richard Fahey.

Gavin Redfern, Co-Founder, True Fate Equestrian Centre, said: “When we found the land where True Fate is currently based, my wife and daughter all said it was fate, which is where the name of our business comes from! We decided to combine this coincidence with the name of my daughter’s horse, True Juniper, and suddenly our business idea was born.

“True Fate is a real family affair – my youngest daughter Isabella regularly lends a hand at the stables and Nyah, who is 16, comes straight from school most nights and gives up her weekends to help and after experiencing how hard we work and what our roles are, she is focused on becoming an Equine vet running her own veterinary practice from our premises.

“Working with Finance For Enterprise has not only enabled us to launch our dream business, it has also given us confidence to grow and develop the business concept. Our investment manager was caring, helpful and listened to all our plans in great detail whilst guiding us through the process of applying for the right funding to suit our needs, as well as helping us to finalise our business ideas. As a result we are now looking forward to the future and exploring our growth and expansion plans further, adding new services and creating more jobs within the local economy.”

Tim Daniels, Senior Investment Manager, Finance For Enterprise, said: “When Gavin and Shelley came to see me for the first time, I could see instantly how passionate they were about making their business a success. They had a well thought-out idea and achievable business plan which enabled them, along with their daughter, to provide a range of professional equestrian services.

“As their investment manager, it was a pleasure to be able to help them secure a loan to take their business further. Moving forward, the finance provided to True Fate Equestrian Centre will help them achieve their future plans to introduce new members of staff and will offer further opportunities for the venue to attract other related businesses to benefit from the five-star facilities.”

Mark Wilcockson, Senior Manager at British Business Bank, said: “With investment from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, new and existing businesses throughout the North of England are able to achieve their growth plans. Our collaborative work with Finance For Enterprise enables business owners to access tailored business loans at a time when it is needed the most. With an NPIF – BEF & FFE Microfinance loan, Gavin, Shelley and Nina will be able to further develop the corporate events side of their family business.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.