Startup of the Year 2015-2016 competition entry: Carreg Adventure

After nearly three years of planning and negotiating, Carreg Adventure at Stouthall was launched in March 2015. I decided – with my co-founder Ceri Butcher – that starting a new business, which combined two diverse products, and renovating an abandoned 18th century building wasn’t enough – so we launched the company withour own wedding. Carreg Adventure is located on the Gower Peninsula, Swansea in a 14-bedroom Grade II listed Georgian country mansion. After extensive renovations throughout 2014 and the winter of 2015, the doors of the first adventure centre and events venue opened.

Taking the approach that the normal way of decorating an adventure centre left a lot to be desired, Carreg Adventure is the first adventure centre beautiful enough to regularly host weddings and events. Our innovative approach to food has led to a host of new products coming on stream including afternoon teas, pop-up restaurant nights and house tours, alongside original events like the Stouthall School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at Halloween. In 2015 more than 3,000 residential guests came through the doors, with more than three times that number already confirmed for 2016. They take part in everything from school residential adventure trips to corporate retreats to festival style weddings. Support from Visit Wales and Swansea Council, along with significant private investment from the former chairman of House of Fraser, Don McCarthy’s investments has meant the company currently employs eight full time and four part-time staff, with plans to double the headcount this year.