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Funding secures Ceredigion activity centre

Ceredigion-based Llain Activity Centre has reopened under new ownership three years after closing, with the support of six-figure funding from NatWest.

The entrepreneurial family team of Rhodri Davies and Gethin Williams have used £550,000 of finance from the bank to purchase the previously unused activity centre on the outskirts of Llanarth.

[aoa id=”1″]Rhodri and Gethin acquired and opened the centre at the beginning of this year and are engaged in a continuous refurbishment programme generated from the centre’s income to transform the rundown site and upgrade the accommodation facilities.  By converting unused buildings into accommodation, Llain Activity Centre can now accommodate up to 100 overnight guests for longer residential breaks.[/aoa]

The centre also offers adventure trips for schools, families and groups, and visitors and all have the opportunity to experience a range of activities including climbing, high ropes and zipwire, canoeing and stand up paddle boarding, as well as orienteering and the ever-popular mud run. Woodland ranger and bushcraft activities in the 40-acre woodland are also becoming increasingly popular.

Qualified mountain leader and bushcraft instructor, Gethin Williams previously worked for the local authority in Carmarthenshire for 19 years. In 2017, he set up Activity Pembrokeshire as an independent multi activity and school residential provider placing clients in outsourced accommodation but will now operate from Llain Activity Centre.

Rhodri Davies, who hails from nearby Lampeter, owns an arable and livestock farm in Llantwit Major and his diversification portfolio includes a wood chipping and biomass business, a wedding venue, tourist accommodation, campsite and a flourishing wholesale and retail butchery.

Gethin will run the centre with the support of eight freelance instructors, as well as a team of part time cleaning and catering staff. He currently has bookings well into next year and plans are underway to expand the available accommodation further by converting more outbuildings as well as creating even more diverse activities.

Gethin said:

“Llain Activity centre had been a popular adventure destination in the past but after three years unoccupied, the site was rundown. With the support and funding from NatWest, I have been able to refurbish the site to a high standard and reopen. The centre has huge potential to become a key Welsh-speaking adventure destination for groups, schools and individuals alike and using my more than 20 years’ experience in the industry, I look forward to realising this ambition.”

Maria Williams, Senior Relationship Manager at NatWest, said: “Gethin is well-known in the Welsh outdoor education industry and the ideal person to take the reins at Llain Activity Centre. The funding we have provided has helped him to reopen an otherwise unused centre that will return to be an asset for the local community.”