A farm has invested £250,000 in onsite luxury accommodation and a gym as part of a diversification drive.
Owen Jones, who owns Cefn Malby Lakes and Fishing outside Cardiff, has built five luxury lodges and nine fishing pods to protect anglers from the weather and is looking to generate £155,000 revenue per year.
The luxury lodges are all built in the UK and come complete with broadband and private hot tubs.
Jones is part of a family which has been working on New Park Farm for 35 years. He said: “We are a working farm with over 600 acres. The lakes have been attracting carp anglers for many years so the investment in onsite accommodation seemed a natural step as more and more anglers want a short break, luxury experience, rather than just a day’s fishing.
“We are already at 80 per cent occupancy and attracting lots of non-anglers, who just want to visit for the proximity to Cardiff and beautiful surroundings.
“Investing into the business in the current financial climate was a major financial commitment but something we wanted to do. With 85 per cent of the accommodation being obtained via the website we understand the importance of embracing modern technology to support traditional agriculture.
“With 8 lakes spread over 35 acres we have plenty of space and if early indicators are anything to go by we will hopefully introduce another ten luxury lodges over the next two years.”
Delyth Parry, Barclays business agricultural manager, added: “This is a great example of someone using personal experience to spot a business opportunity. Barclays’ research identifies the significant role “entrepreneurs” play in the rural economy and is committed to supporting such propositions.
“By using our knowledge and experience within the sector, Barclays’ agriculture has been delighted to support Owen’s latest venture and wishes the business every success for the future. This is a business which truly understands the importance of diversification within its business.
“By converting some disused barns into a modern subscription gym and developing these fantastic lodges together with the existing fishing and tackle shop operation the business is generating revenue from the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors.”