Afan Lodge, a hotel in the Afan Valley

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 (

Afan Lodge

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 (

Update on PyC investment in the Afan Lodge

A former miner’s institute, turned hotel, that resides in the stunning Afan Valley, is currently working hard to safeguard its future after receiving significant investment from Pen y Cymoedd.

While the prospects of the iconic Afan Lodge remain uncertain, investors and the management team at the venue are determined to unleash its full potential and venture into a new phase of its journey.

The Afan Lodge in Duffryn Rhondda was purchased by the Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund in 2019 to save it from permanent closure. Since then, the Fund has invested in the hotel to modernise the bedrooms, lounge, and dining areas, while also securing 32 jobs for the staff and providing a contemporary facility for the local community

However, since securing the investment from Pen y Cymoedd, the hotel has experienced an extremely challenging period. The pandemic coupled with the subsequent cost-of-living crisis, has created significant obstacles to its long-term security.

Martin Veale, Chair of Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund said: “We bought Afan Lodge because we wanted to help protect and restore a local facility that was well-loved and valued by the community. Since taking over, we have been fully committed to helping to secure its future. “Not only have we maintained  jobs for members of the local community, but we have also invested in renovation and refurbishment work to improve the facilities. Despite existing challenges facing the hotel facilities, we are supporting the team at the lodge to help develop a long-term strategic plan to safeguard its future. The Afan Lodge is an extremely valuable community asset and with the continued support from the local community, we are committed to trying to make the venue the vibrant success, we all want it to be.”

The recruitment of a new general manager, whose background is in tourism, presents a new and exciting opportunity for the hotel as he looks to diversify and grow the venues future avenues. Simon Bevan, manager said, “As a long-standing employer in the community and its deep-rooted history, we are fully committed to unleashing its potential, expanding its offering, and making positive changes for the future benefit of the business, local community and the Afan Lodge but hospitality faces many challenges and we have taken decision to close on our two quietest days each week, as a temporary cost-saving measure.

“However, thanks to the continued support of our loyal customers and staff, we are open as usual from Wednesday – Sunday for overnight stays, food, drinks, and entertainment and as a community facility. Whilst our ambition is for Afan Lodge to continue fulfilling its goals of being a community hub, an employer and contributing to the local economy and supply chain, we need to do so whilst ensuring that we remain sustainable for the long-term future.”

The Afan Lodge is set in a stunning natural environment setting and provides a fantastic facility for not only local, but the wider community, while also attracting tourists to the area. In addition to the modern bedroom facilities for overnight guests, the restaurant is growing in popularity and the conference facilities are regularly used by local businesses and community groups. For more information on the Afan Lodge and its investment journey visit

What Next?

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 / 01685 878785