Family-run Rockbridge Country Holiday Park in Presteigne has been given the go-ahead for an expansion that will bring jobs and investment to the area, helping to benefit the economy. The park, which is situated between Discoed and Presteigne, is ready to welcome tourists to the 'gateway of Wales'.
Janet Thomas is one person who has benefited from Discover Parks Presteigne park's growth over the years, now living on-site as the general manager. "It's a very good idea for the push for tourism because we are local. When you bring holidaymakers here, we obviously support the local communities, and enterprises along the roads here. The more people you get into the holiday parks, the more jobs created."
Janet's day-to-day work includes security and front-of-house staff, and she has been working on-site for three years. She sees the expansion of Rockbridge as a good opportunity for local businesses. "You support local people, rather than going to big conglomerates."
Living on-site, Janet regularly balances being a resident, as well as being someone the community can rely on. "The residents are all very friendly. People know they can approach me, and I will do what I can to help them."
The new expansion has planning approval for 21 new holiday lodges, which compliments the residential section of the park, and is one of three sites owned by the Herefordshire company. As part of Welsh Tourism Week, which runs from the 15th to the 21st May, Brecon & Radnor MP Fay Jones visited the site, to see how development was getting on.
"Tourism is one of the key industries that drives this part of Radnorshire," Fay Jones said. "We're so lucky that we get visitors from all over the world coming to see us. We have stunning countryside and amazing food, and lovely people."
She sees the expansion as a great way to promote the local area, and bring people to Powys to see what it has to offer, but also understands what Powys needs to do to be able to welcome tourists. "I want us to have as many visitors as possible. We as policy makers need to do the legwork in terms of making sure the infrastructure is there, and making sure people have good roads to travel on. We need people coming here to invest in rural businesses like hospitality, that do so well off the back of tourism. The more people we get here, the more the rural economy can thrive."
As Presteigne looks set to see growth, visitors are being urged to abide by the countryside code, and be respectful of the natural settings around them.
"If that gate is closed, keep it closed," Jones say. "Keep that dog on a lead. Above all things, leave no trace. You should only take memories, and only leave your footprints behind. If people can do one thing, look up the countryside code and make sure you're aware of it."
Managing Director Glenn Jones says it’s a huge investment for their company, which will benefit the local economy and bring more jobs to the area.
"As a business we employ nearly 50 people in direct employment, and that's growing all the time." Glenn says. "There's a team of sub contractors here helping us. Overall, the impact on the Welsh economy is huge."
Another benefit that Glenn sees is people being able to escape regular stresses of life. "It's also mental health awareness week, and here you can just chill and relax and feel a million miles away."
The award winning holiday park, offering touring and tent pitches as well as homes, is set in the stunning Welsh landscape beneath the famous Offa’s Dyke path that divides England from Wales.
"It's going to be lovely to have the new holiday homes here, people coming and going, and the buzz all over," Janet says. "Everybody should come and have a look at Rockbridge."