Jewel in Wales crown makes two new appointments to prepare for a busy year

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Gregynog Estate director Karen Armstrong with general manager Henry Power (right) and facilities manager Michael Haynes.

A leading Mid Wales hotel, conference and events venue, which nestles on a 750-acre estate described as one of the jewels in Wales’ crown, has made two new appointments as it prepares for a busy year.

 

Gregynog Hall at Tregynon, near Newtown has appointed Henry Power, 38, as general manager of the hotel and Michael Haynes, 56, as facilities manager.

 

The appointments allow director Karen Armstrong to continue detailed preparations for Gregynog Hall to become an independent charitable trust. The estate, made famous by the art collecting Davies sisters, Gwendoline and Margaret, has been managed by the University of Wales for more than half a century.

 

Miss Armstrong is in the process of setting up a fundraising campaign for a £5 million Gregynog restoration project, which will include legacy and donation programmes. One legacy already received is from the late Dr John Frankland Rigby, Reader in Pure Mathematics at Cardiff University who had a long association with Gregynog.

 

“We continue to make progress towards the establishment of Gregynog Trust and are working hard to ensure that the charity is sustainable moving forward,” said Miss Armstrong.

 

“The creation of a charitable trust will open up exciting new opportunities for the hall and estate. For the first time, Gregynog will have access to potential funding from sources such as the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will extend its cultural and environmental remit.

“The appointment of Henry and Michael will ensure that we continue to develop and improve the business as we head into what promises to be a busy and exciting year at Gregynog.”

 

Investment has continued over the winter, with a new accounts system installed to provide better business intelligence. In the grounds, a former gardener’s shed has been restored and converted to a toilet block for walkers and a ‘green gym’, with a range of equipment, has been installed in woodland directly opposite the hall with funding support from Natural Resources Wales.

 

“The green gym and new toilet block are designed to increase public access to the National Nature Reserve at Gregynog and to contribute to health and wellbeing by encouraging visitors to get involved in outdoor activities in this fantastic setting,” explained Miss Armstrong.

 

Gregynog Estate is open to visitors from dawn to dusk in the winter and from 8am to 8pm in the summer.

 

Mr Power is keen to promote the hotel accommodation at Gregynog Hall all year round and wants to dispel the local misconception that the venue is for the exclusive use of the University of Wales. Rooms can be booked through the website http://www.gregynog.org/ or through www.booking.com

 

Gregynog Hall, which has Hospitality Assured premier status and is a member of the Meeting Industry Association, is also a popular venue for conferences, weddings, family celebrations, special occasions and a wide range of corporate events.

 

“The hall is open to everybody for any type of event and the accommodation is available throughout the week for people visiting the area,” said Mr Power.

“I want to get as much commercial business as is humanly possible into the hall by putting it on the map for activities, conferences, weddings and events.

 

“Everyone who visits Gregynog Hall for the first time gets the ‘wow’ factor when the hall becomes visible from the drive,” said Mr Power. “My challenge is give visitors the ‘wow’ factor when they walk inside the hall, in terms of the standard of the rooms, food and hospitality in general.

 

“There are a lot of improvements that we will be working on and I have work to do to change the perception of people living within a 60 mile radius who think that Gregynog Hall is just for the University of Wales. The hall and estate has so much to offer in terms of the facilities, walks, gardens and National Nature Reserve.”