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Success stories

Sustainable solutions turn off-grid goal into reality for local pub

Andrew Owen

Andrew Owen took ownership of The Butchers Arms, a 200-year-old pub at the gateway of Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons), in October 2023, with the bold ambition of turning the local watering hole into the UK’s first off-grid bar, grill and accommodation by 2025.

Thanks to support from Business Wales, in just three months of owning the pub Andrew has implemented a range of sustainable solutions to accomplish his goal. This has included fully insulating the building and replacing the costly oil boiler with an eco-friendlier electric system, paired with solar panels that will generate enough electricity to fuel a wholly self-sufficient kitchen.

Business Wales’ Decarbonisation Advisor, Sarah Gore, who has published extensive research on the environmental impacts of carbon removal approaches, assisted Andrew with his business’ eco-expansion plans.

Alongside helping Andrew to develop an environmental strategy, create a carbon reduction plan, and calculate emissions, Sarah helped to create a Green Growth Pledge that became pivotal in his application for £10,000 Shared Prosperity Fund support, which was initially highlighted by Merthyr Tydfil Council.

Andrew said:

The Butchers Arms is a very traditional, quaint pub on the edge of the picturesque Bannau  Brycheiniog, loved by adventurers and nature-lovers travelling through. It looks brilliant on a postcard, but in reality, it pumped out an atrocious amount of fossil fuels due to its lack of insulation and ancient oil heating system. Set among all that nature, it didn’t sit right with me.

Andrew, who had previously worked as a commercial manager for Welsh pubs and restaurants, saw the potential to improve The Butchers Arms’ reputation within Wales’ tourism industry and turn it into a business that benefitted neighbouring outdoors businesses and the local community. His future plans also include exploring the potential of putting a wind-turbine on the neighbouring land to create renewable energy.

Andrew continued:

No idea is unobtainable at this point. What began as a huge ambition has quickly turned into an accomplishable goal thanks to the endless support of Business Wales. Sarah was the best person to help me streamline and solidify my green goals for The Butchers Arms and put them into thorough written plans which helped me secure essential funding. The race is well and truly on to become a completely carbon-zero, off-grid business by 2025.

The pub’s food and drinks suppliers have also been asked to reduce their carbon footprint by cutting deliveries down from eight to ten per week, to a maximum of two. Andrew hopes that by being transparent with his suppliers, they can then influence their other Welsh partners to reduce their carbon footprint.

Andrew also assists his workforce and wider community to reduce their own carbon footprint by hiring locally and encouraging his staff of 14 to carshare to cut down on fuel consumption. He also organises local transport to take pub residents to and from the neighbouring outdoor businesses like Bike Park Wales.

Sarah Gore, Decarbonisation Advisor at Business Wales said:

Andrew hasn’t hesitated at any point in his race to turn The Butchers Arms into an off-grid hospitality hotspot. He’s ran with our support at Business Wales and installed so many innovative new technologies into his business within such a short timeframe. It’s inspiring to be a part of his business journey.

For more information and support to help your business discover new supply chain opportunities, and to speak to a specialist advisor, contact Business Wales. Call 03000 6 03000, rydym yn croesawu galwadau’n Gymraeg / we welcome calls in Welsh or visit

Business Wales Helpline

03000 6 03000

Lines are open 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau’n Gymraeg.
We welcome calls in Welsh.