Farming family invest in woodland luxury

Senior Investment Executive

Brother and sister Matthew Hamer and Katie Hamer-Grew are transforming their 32 acre family farm near Llanidloes in to a luxury woodland retreat.

With planning permission for 60 luxury lodges, work on Penybanc Woods initially began in 2018 with the creation of a new entrance road. A six-figure loan from the Development Bank of Wales means that the holiday lodge park now has installed services and bases for 18 two and three bedroom lodges, with three already sold.

With prices starting at £180,000 for a two-bedroom lodge, buyers can spec their own lodge  and choose the plot they want. The development has a 12 month operating licence for holiday purposes.

Situated on the working family farm just two miles from the historic market town of Llanidloes, Penybanc Woods is a quiet retreat with fishing lake and outstanding views of the Upper Severn Valley. It also offers access to scenic footpaths and bridleways.

Katie Hamer-Grew said: “2020 wasn’t the most obvious time to start a new venture but our town of Llanidloes means a lot to us and we’re keen to do all that we can to encourage visitors and support the local economy. Having owned a family run butchers shop going back generations, we want people to come and stay in ‘Llani’ and help our little town thrive.

“That’s why we took the opportunity to diversify and transform our much-loved family farm in to a luxury holiday lodge park. However, none of this would have been possible without the investment and help from the Development Bank. It is their support that has got us this far and we’re very grateful for their help.”

Scott Hughes, an Investment Executive with the Development Bank of Wales said: “With adventures and attractions to explore within a stone’s throw, Llanidloes offers a variety of independent shops, pubs, restaurants, a weekly Saturday market and plenty of history that make it a great destination for tourists and second home owners. 

“Covid-19 has created challenges and opportunities for us all but we remain steadfast in our support for businesses across all of Wales and have local teams that can help with funding wherever needed. The pandemic hasn’t stopped Matthew and Katie from diversifying and investing in their future – they really are a great example of how a vision can become reality; fulfilling dreams and benefiting the local economy. We wish them every success.”

The funding came from the Wales Business Fund which is part-funded by the ERDF through the Welsh Government. It was created specifically to support businesses with fewer than 250 employees based in Wales and those willing to move to Wales.