An established Carmarthenshire boutique hotel has completed a refurbishment and extension work with help from Business Wales.
The four-star Plough Rhosmaen is set at the edge of the Brecon Beacons in the stunning Towy Valley, and boasts 23 beautiful, contemporary bedrooms. As well as accommodation, the venue also boasts an award-winning restaurant serving traditional favourites alongside innovative and exciting dishes, using locally sourced ingredients.
Owner Andrew Roberts started out as a chef in his mid-20s and established his own restaurant, before concentrating solely on making The Plough a success. His hard work paid off, and last year the first-class venue, which currently employs 30 people, won four Gold Carmarthenshire Tourism Awards, including ‘Large Serviced Accommodation of the Year’, ‘Best Marketing’, and ‘Tourism Business of the Year’. The Plough has also achieved a Visit Wales Gold Award.
Building on its huge success, Andrew made plans to renovate the accommodation and the lounge area, as well as to add an extension to the existing dining room. He approached the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service for support with funding applications and business planning, also receiving extensive advice on energy efficiency and the implementation of renewable energy sources to reduce operating costs.
“We wanted to complete a refurbishment of the hotel, so we approached Business Wales to assist us in completing application forms for grant funding, projections and checking all forms were correct.
“The grant funding came at the right time as there was a lot of work to do with the refurbishment that was undertaken separately. We’ve grown the business in the order we wanted to and had the support we needed from Business Wales at the right time.”
Mel Davies, advisor at Business Wales, said:
“A key part of our work at Business Wales is helping businesses get the dedicated support they need to grow sustainably. Whether it’s assisting in the creation of a detailed strategic plan to ensure continued future success and growth, or trying to secure financial assistance as was the case for the Plough.
“Our role is very much to help companies take their business to the next level and it’s extremely rewarding to see such a positive outcome as in this instance.”
The Plough Rhosmaen’s top 5 tips for anyone else starting up their own business would be:
- Be prepared to work hard
- Give attention to detail
- Do lots of the little things well, always strive to improve even if you think you are already good enough
- Look after the team and look after what you have
- Strong HR function and ethos
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.