Shropshire Star

Llangollen hotel boss spearheads major expansion and £2m plan to go green and cut carbon

The boss of a hotel in Llangollen who started out washing pots in the kitchen is spearheading a major expansion plan and a £2 million plan to cut carbon.

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Everbright Group Operations Manager Nic Rowland. Photo: Mandy Jones

Group Operations Manager Nic Rowland, 38, revealed the award-winning Everbright Hotel Group is aiming to increase the number of properties in their portfolio from seven to 10 in North Wales and the North of England.

Meanwhile, the Everbright Hotel Group was recently hailed as a trailblazer by the Net Zero North Wales Network for investing in green technology at the Llandudno Bay Hotel, where the carbon footprint was cut by 84 per cent and energy bills were slashed from a quoted £300,000 to £100,000.

Over the next few years the eco-friendly approach is going to be replicated across the group’s other hotels, the Belmont and the Queens in Llandudno, Rossett Hall near Wrexham, the Wild Pheasant Hotel and Spa in Llangollen, the George Hotel in Penrith and Stonecross Manor in Kendal.

It’s all a far cry from when Nic started as a wet-behind-the-ears, 15-year-old schoolboy washing pots at the Grade II listed Rossett Hall Hotel.

Things could have turned out very differently because he originally embarked on a university degree course in IT – but gave that up after three months because he realised he liked the hotel business more.

At the heart of his remarkable rise up the ranks is a formidable work ethic that saw him at one point holding down three jobs while still in school – as well doing shifts at the hotel, he had two papers rounds and worked in a local shop.

Rocket boosters were put under his career when Rossett Hall was bought in 2015 by the Everbright Group which grew rapidly over subsequent years with the purchase of all the other hotels.

Nic said: “What I liked about working in a hotel was the buzz and the camaraderie with colleagues and you thrive off the positive feedback from customers. I just love it.

“We’ve gone from one site in Rossett to seven individual properties in the space of eight years with more to come. It’s been an amazing journey.

“All but one of the hotels are four star rated which they weren’t originally – the exception being the George Hotel in Penrith where we have aspirations to upgrade to four stars by 2025.”

According to Nic, he’s proud the pioneering green initiatives at the Llandudno Bay Hotel were recognised earlier this year at the international Lux Life Travel and Tourism Awards when the Everbright Group was crowned Sustainable Luxury Hotel Group of the Year.

The award was the latest in a series of accolades for the group which included being named as the Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Hotel of the Year 2023 at the Go North Wales Tourism Awards and at the same ceremony, Rossett Hall was named as the Best Large Hotel in North Wales.

He said: “We invested around £150,000 in the heating system in Llandudno Bay which significantly reduced our ongoing costs at just the right time because that’s when the energy crisis happened.

“We were looking at energy bills quoted at £300,000 a year and that wasn’t sustainable for the business. It’s brought the energy bills down to around £100,000 a year.

“That was a game changer and we are now going to roll-out the green energy initiative across all our properties, replicating what we did in Llandudno Bay right across the group.

“We’re looking at similar energy efficient heating systems, solar power, thermodynamic panels and EV charging points.

“It’s going to be a huge investment of around £2 million but it makes total business sense and it’s also great for the planet.

“We’re on an amazing journey because Everbright is an aspirational company and still quite young.

“I am excited about the future and thoroughly driven as there is a good direction of travel with the business and we know where we want to get to.”

By Ceidiog Hughes - Contributor