Converting Outbuildings into Stables: Financial Gain for Agricultural Building Owners?

Converting Outbuildings into Stables

Have you got unused agricultural building spaces such as barns or outbuildings? Fancy an extra form of income which offers a high return on investment? Converting outbuildings into stables with Internal Stabling maybe the perfect thing for you!

With a growing need to diversify in agriculture, livery yards have become a popular way of not only utilising wasted space but for bringing in a consistent and prosperous extra form of income.

If the locations right, there is a lively market for anyone who can offer stables and grazing. The first step when considering whether to set up a livery yard is to research local demand and assess any competition, including their pricing structure.

If the locations right, there is a lively market for anyone who can offer stables and grazing. The first step when considering whether to set up a livery is to research local demand and assess any competition, including their pricing structure.

Planning Permission for Outbuilding Conversion

When converting outbuildings into stables and setting up a livery yard, you will need to obtain planning permission for the change of use of land and/or buildings. Remember that if you’re adding additional facilities such as floodlights, menages or cross country jumps, they will also require planning permission.

When applying for a change of use for an existing agricultural building, you should not face that many problems, however, facilities or new barns can be challenging if you are within the green belt, a conservation area, area of outstanding natural beauty or national park where new development is often resisted. See more info on planning permission …

Insurance

A standard livery yard pack that includes,employers liability, public liability and care, custody and control is offered by most insurers.

Making additional profit

Sales of straw, hay and feed may boost profits, and services such as schooling and sales can generate additional income if you and staff have the expertise. Identifying your Unique Selling Point (USP) and marketing this to your clients is the best way to justify higher prices.

Examples of USP’s

  • Access to off-road hacking
  • Unlimited turnout
  • Proximity to local shows
  • High-quality facilities, e.g. Horse Walkers

Legal Agreements

For many liveries, the client-owner relationship is quite casual, however, it is recommended that official agreements are put in place to ensure both parties fully understand their responsibilities. A license is required if you are offering lessons.

Types of Livery Services

Info sourced from Equine World UK

DIY Livery -This type of livery provides the horse owner with a stable in which to keep their horse and a field or paddock in which to turn their horse out during the day. The horse owner is responsible for all care including mucking out, turning the horse out to the field and bringing the horse in from the field and feeding of the horse on a daily basis. Bedding and hay are often not included and the horse owner must purchase these separately either from the yard or by making their own arrangements, although some livery yards may offer DIY stabled livery at a higher price with bedding and hay included. This type of livery requires the horse owner to attend to the horse in the morning and evening of every day.

Part Livery -This type of livery is similar to DIY Stabled livery but the day to daycare of the horse is shared by the owner and livery yard staff and the care routine will vary from yard to yard. Some livery yards may offer staff care during the week, with the horse owner responsible for the care of the horse at weekends, other livery yards may offer staff care in the mornings with the horse owner responsible for the care of the horse in the evenings. Some livery yards may include some exercising of the horse within their part livery service. This type of livery is ideal for those horse owners whose work schedule makes it difficult for them to attend to their horse twice a day, 7 days a week.

Full Livery –In addition to providing the horse owner with a stable in which to keep their horse and a field in which to turn their horse out during the day, full livery usually also includes bedding, hay and feed. Livery yard staff are responsible for all care including mucking out, turning out the horse to the field and bringing the horse in from the field and feeding of the horse on a daily basis. Some livery yards may include exercising of the horse within their full livery service. This type of livery is ideal for the horse owner whose busy schedule does not give them the time to care for their horse on a daily basis.

Things to consider

  • Your livery clients are likely to require access 24/7, many will have full-time jobs, busy schedules and especially around competition season will be travelling at all times of day and night. 
  • Yard policies are important, you may get demanding livery clients and it’s important to have some good rules, as well as being selective about who you rent to.
  • Do include your time in your business plan, it may reduce external costs but still needs to be considered when looking at profitability.
  • Will you need to employ staff? They need to be experienced, reliable and will play a big part in your yards reputation.
  • Financial Advice – Read Accountancy Advice in this article from Farmers Weekly

Using Internal Stabling…

Internal Stables are stable fronts and partitions designed to be installed into an existing barn or building, offering an easy conversion into indoor horse stabling. Available in bespoke or standard measurements, Internal Stables can be manufactured to ensure maximum utilisation of space. When accompanied with grazing space, you could charge anything between £20-£40 on average a week, per stable!

Boarding Options

Manufactured within strong galvanised steel frames, Cheval Liberté offers three boarding types; pressure-treated pine, oak or recycled plastic.

Club Range in Pressure Treated Pine

Slow grown increases the durability and strength

Beautiful natural aesthetic

Sourced sustainably from Eastern European
forests

Most financially viable option

Treatment ensures longevity

40mm thick panels

Exquisite rich colour and appearance

Superior strength

Long-lasting

Luxurious

40mm thick panels

Resistant to rot, decay and pests

Sourced sustainably from Eastern European forests

Resistant to acids and salts

Exceptionally low maintenance

Fully washable

Environmentally friendly – made from high grade recycled plastic and fully recyclable. Free of toxic chemicals and don’t have to be treated with environmentally harmful protectants

Available in a range of colours – black, brown, green and grey

You can find out more about internal stable ranges and styles by visiting our stabling page

Need more advice? Give us a call today on 01490 736 323, we always happy to help!