Update on Afan Lodge July 23

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Back in 2019 Pen y Cymoedd purchased Afan Lodge and it remains wholly owned by PYC. It has an independent Board of 5 Directors who take day-to-day decisions and employ staff and contractors to operate the facility.
The purchase and commencement of operations at the building occurred just prior to the onset of the Covid19 pandemic, which created significant obstacles to the opening and operation of a hotel and restaurant, with a lengthy shadow period beyond the initial lockdown phases, where there were numerous restrictions and low public confidence for an extended period.
Although now beyond that, the Lodge has only had 1 year of operation in reasonably ‘normal’ circumstances, however its turnover has increased annually and now employs 32 people (approximately 15 full time equivalents) and that is something we are very proud of in an area where jobs are more difficult to come by.
The premises consist of guest accommodation, a restaurant/bar with terrace, a room that can be hired to host meetings, ample car parking, and green areas leading down the hillside to the valley bottom, linking with tracks and trails that run throughout the valley and beyond. There are various nearby amenities for walkers and off-road cycling (notably the Afan Forest Park) that are well used.
Afan Lodge is in a stunning natural environment setting and the feedback we get regularly is that the food and restaurant are great value and great quality. This is an asset not only for local and wider community use but also in attracting tourists into the area and spending money locally.
The Social Value Act in England prompted the creation of the Social Value Framework, which has since been modified for usage in Wales to reflect the Wellbeing Future Generations Act. It provides a number of established metrics for assessing social effect, such as the social benefit of new or preserved jobs.
The median income for Neath Port Talbot County equates to £31,772 per year, according to the latest recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, which is from 2022. Looking at Afan Lodge, the employment amounts to an approximate £476,580 in social impact. That amounts to £1,191,450 throughout the course of the past 2.5 years of operation (excluding the original opening and first Covid lockout period).
Of course, managing a hospitality establishment in this environment still presents obstacles, but we are eager to see what comes next. While it is always sad to lose outstanding workers, we are delighted that some of the staff have gained valuable experience and abilities that have helped them to move forward in their professions and we wish them all the best for their careers. To further drive the business forward the Lodge has recently hired a new general manager, Simon Bevan, and we are excited about the skills he is bringing.
If you want to find out more about what the Afan Lodge has to offer, check out the website and follow-on social media for special deals, events and details of what’s on offer.