Getting back in the saddle

What did property developer Gabriella do with 125-acres of space? Find out in the latest blog from our partners Together Money



Property developer Gabriella Atkinson needed a new project to keep her busy after her personal circumstances changed.

And when she first saw Bedgebury Park, it was love at first sight. The 125-acre site, complete with National Trust pine forest and 700-year history, was the perfect residential-meets-holiday let development, with space for her other passion: horses.

A horse lover since she was a child, Gabriella rapidly immersed herself in the equestrian world when she moved to the UK from Canada, training and showing ponies with her daughter.

And horses provided therapy after her marriage ended. "They teach you all about commitment, hard work and coping with disappointment," she muses insightfully.

Despite a long history of successful developments, when it came to applying for finance, many lenders saw an issue: all of Gabriella's previous properties had been in her husband's name.

Seeing the potential in the project, specialist lender Together backed Gabriella with a bridging loan to get the project started, before then providing a commercial loan for its ongoing development.

The redeveloped Bedgebury Park will offer yoga classes and massage therapy, and provide a welcoming space for families, too. Gabriella's zeal for fitness, fashion and the great outdoors informs all her work and is, she believes, something conventional developers neglect.

"I am never looking at a project just from a financial point of view, but what will make people feel good. It’s been nine years so far, and it’s my life’s work.”

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