A traditional country inn and restaurant at the foot of Mount Snowdon has recently undergone a major renovation and achieved a 25% increase in turnover after securing funding with the help of the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service.
The Cwellyn Arms is a family run, traditional country inn and restaurant with accommodation, located in Rhyd Ddu, a stunning spot at the foot of Mount Snowdon. The owners, Graham Bamber and family, purchased the inn in 1980 and undertook extensive building work, before opening the inn a year later. A joiner by trade, Graham continued the refurbishment work and soon a dining room was added and a new kitchen was installed.
Although in the ideal spot for a quick drink or a meal after exploring Snowdonia, the inn, which also boasts farmhouse accommodation and a campsite, lacked interior space and as such was limited in the number of patrons it could cater for in the bar and restaurant. Graham, who is no stranger to running a business having owned four greengrocer shops along the Welsh coast, said:
“We needed more room for the food side of the business and the restaurant was very old fashioned and small. We knew what we wanted to do: create a bigger space for drinking and dining and also build a brand new kitchen.
“A local councillor suggested we contact Business Wales for advice about funding support, which we did. I told Business Wales what I wanted to do with the kitchen to make it bigger and about the complete new extension for the restaurant, extending from 20 seats to a 40 seater, and also adding en-suite guest bedrooms. By this point we had already started the process, but even though they came in later on, Business Wales enabled us to achieve the growth we needed and reach the potential of Cwellyn Arms as it stands today.
“The renovation has enabled us to bring the entire place into the 21st century, and, after working so long and hard on it over so many years, the completion is certainly one of my proudest moments. If I was to do it again, I would most definitely contact Business Wales sooner.”
With the help of Business Wales, the Cwellyn Arms was able to secure funding through the Welsh Economic Growth Fund and the Tourism Investment Support Scheme to finance the project. They also received invaluable support and guidance from Business Wales to realise Graham’s vision and develop the business in a sustainable manner. Since Business Wales stepped in, the inn’s turnover has increased by 25% and its website has had over 2 million hits in the last year alone. At the moment, Graham is looking to capitalise on the increased local trade and is planning marketing activities for events and conference meetings in the new purpose-built extension.
The Cwellyn Arms’ top 5 tips for anyone else starting up their own business would be:
- Know your market
- Choose your location well
- Be prepared to work hard
- Don’t give up
- Stay committed
Business Wales, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, supports the sustainable growth of small and medium size enterprises across the country by offering access to information, guidance and business support.
To find out how Business Wales can help start or develop your business, call 03000 6 03000, follow @_businesswales or @_busnescymru or visit www.businesswales.gov.wales/everyday-entrepreneur or www.busnescymru.llyw.cymru/entrepreneur-bob-dydd for further information.