Roll out the red carpet! The Park Palace Ponies are trotting into their new L8 home
Is that the clip clop of hooves we hear, just a stones throw from the bustling Baltic Triangle? It sure is!
In the heart of Toxteth, an old theatre has been transformed into a starter inner-city riding school. Park Palace Ponies is the first of its kind in the country, offering riding lessons to children in the local area. Currently a pop-up pony-riding school, the social enterprise will run for the next six to 12 months.
The aim of the project, based on Mill Street in L8, is for every child in the city aged seven and eight to be given the opportunity to have a go at riding for free. Built in 1893 as a purpose-built music hall by J. H. Havelock-Sutton, the ‘Park Palace of Varieties’ is a well-known and loved L8 landmark.
A Liverpool architectural firm, Harrison Stringfellow, helped in the regeneration of the former theatre, which now boasts a pony-riding arena and public facilities, temporary stabling for 8-10 ponies, on-site manager accommodation and a minimum of 5 acres of local grazing.
Despite the huge transformation, the breath-taking original architecture has been left untouched, with the original ceiling and beautiful proscenium arch still visible. Park Palace Ponies has come together over the last 8 months, and the first of the ponies moved into their new stables on the site in April 2017.
Locals may have already seen the friendly ponies grazing around Toxteth in the designated green spaces, and children will soon be able to get in the saddle. And adults need not worry about missing out on all of the pony action – they can volunteer to help to care for the ponies, and can become official “pony-sitters”.
Park Palace Ponies opens on Friday 12th May 2017, and will offer free 30-minute taster sessions to children age 7/8, who live in the city of Liverpool. The public are welcome to visit the ponies at the Mill Street site every day between 9am and 11am and 4pm and 6pm in the afternoon.