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21 July 2023

Development Bank of Wales Supports Bargoed Farm’s Sustainable Journey

Bargoed Farm transforms into sustainable tourism hub with diversification and eco-integration in business strategy.

In 2010, husband-and-wife team Geraint and Christine Thomas bought a derelict farm site in Ceredigion.

Here’s how finance from the Development Bank of Wales have supported Bargoed Farm on its journey to becoming a successful, sustainable company.

Diversifying into tourism

Geraint and Christine both come from agricultural backgrounds and have years of experience in farming, so they were acutely aware of the pressures facing the industry and recognised the need for diversification.

With Bargoed Farm being located in the heart of the tourist area in Ceredigion, the couple recognised its potential for generating alternative income streams. After buying the site, they renovated the farmhouse, brought the land back to prime condition and obtained planning permission.

In 2016, they secured a £50,000 micro loan from the Development Bank of Wales to support their diversification project, which included the development of a large camping and caravan site, along with a farm shop and bistro.

Bargoed Farm has since secured two follow-on loans. The first of these was used to improve the infrastructure of the site including resurfacing the car park, roads and walkways in order to improve accessibility and overall appearance.

The second supported the company’s biggest project to date. Bargoed Farm used the £300,000 loan alongside grant funding to finance the construction and completion of a new building, which houses a children’s play barn and a lakeside events venue, accommodating up to 200 people.

Making sustainability a priority 

Geraint and Christine have ensured that all developments at the farm have been in line with their wider green agenda. For example, the development of the events building gave them an opportunity to install solar panels and resurface the car park, providing the opportunity to install electric vehicle charging points.

Given the rural setting of the farm, the charging points have been welcomed by visitors. The business has also installed two generators that operate on biofuel which are easily adaptable as and when newer, cleaner fuel options become available. It has also switched to three electric vehicles on site, two of which are light duty to ferry visitors and supplies and one that is heavy duty to move caravans.

In addition to these measures, the business has invested in a baling machine. All recyclable materials are baled by the new machine which compresses the materials and minimises their volume. This saves on storage space and reduces the frequency of waste collections, resulting in lower waste removal costs and a smaller carbon footprint.

Geraint said:

“The changes we’ve introduced have made the business more resilient to unstable energy prices and have already saved us a significant amount of money. Environmental sustainability is not only important to us personally, but our clients are clearly concerned about these issues too and have welcomed the changes made to the site.”

Watch the video to find out more from Geraint about his business and sustainability journey.


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