Pen y Cymoedd Investments
The Pen y Cymoedd fund was encouraged by Vattenfall to work in a transformative and innovative ways to help address some of the challenges and opportunities in the South Wales Valleys over and above or alongside traditional grant making.
From the outset, the new Directors of the Fund were inspired by the wealth of ideas generated locally and we are determined to develop a strategic approach that builds on the amazing assets and strengths of our communities to make a real and lasting difference. One of the Fund’s strengths is its capacity to help both enterprises and community organisations. Another is its capacity to foster creativity and innovation and work in partnership with others to have the greatest possible impact.
To date we have offered 28 loans and made one direct investment, Afan Lodge, as part of our remit and mission to help stimulate and regenerate economic activity throughout the Fund’s area of benefit. Details of all loans made to date can be found here Vision-Fund-Awards-.pdf (penycymoeddcic.cymru)
In late 2019, the PyC Board were offered the chance to purchase Afan Lodge, a hotel in the Afan Valley. Following appropriate due diligence, PyC successfully agreed to purchase the business directly to maintain the facility as a key business in the valley.
The hotel is now a subsidiary business of PyC CIC, which is managed and run on the fund’s behalf by a local team of staff and a board of directors. This investment reflects the value PyC CIC places upon the need to secure quality visitor accommodation in the Afan Valley as a cornerstone of further economic development in the area.
To date we have supported Afan Lodge with significant investment to modernise, upgrade and operate the hotel. Whilst this work has been successful, the lodge has had to deal with a great deal of adversity, covid and repeated lockdowns, Brexit and current cost of living continues to challenge its profitability.
We recently commissioned a report to look into the social value created so far and future options for the hotel and would like to involve local people, organisations and communities in what happens next – Update on Afan Lodge July 23 – Pen Y Cymoedd Community Fund (penycymoeddcic.cymru)
The initial acquisition goals, which included it becoming a community-based anchor organisation and boosting local economy, are now beginning to materialise. But the investment has required a lot of funding, to date over £1.2m. This was greater investment than we expected. Over the coming months, we will be interacting with communities and stakeholders throughout the fund area to learn about their opinions of the present and potential future investment.
If you’d like to share your views about Afan Lodge and have your say, we would love to hear from you firstname.lastname@example.org / 01685 878785