Hay Castle Trust

Retail Start Up Units – Hay Castle Trust

Sustainable Development Fund Grant £11,000

Hay Castle Trust was formed in 2011 to purchase Hay Castle, a site which comprises the Grade 1 listed Hay Castle Manor, Scheduled Ancient Monument, various outbuildings, and registered gardens.

The £6.5m renovation project includes access to the top of the Norman keep, a new roof for the mansion, an exhibition gallery, education space, and flexible, multi-function rooms throughout. The ancient gateway will be re-opened and reconnect the town and the Castle grounds. Traditional building skills will be taught in the grounds and a cafe will inhabit the former coach house. Income made from private hires will support maintenance, upkeep and a host of community uses.

Construction work at Hay Castle continued throughout 2021. Although the project experienced significant delays, it’s anticipated that the main works and the Sustainable Development Fund funded work to upgrade five retail units on the site will be finalised early in 2022.

These small shop spaces will be offered to local start-up businesses (like the Bobbin Sisters, pictured) giving local entrepreneurs the opportunity to rent a space at an affordable price in order to start their business. The unique spaces are ideal for businesses or artisans that require low rent and good footfall along a characterful cobbled lane. The shop units have been successfully used in the past when several businesses started up at Hay Castle and have now developed and moved to larger premises in town. Local business Eighteen Rabbit, for example, began their Fairtrade import business online, then grew their shop business during two years at Hay Castle paying minimal rent, and they now have a larger shop in the centre of town. Similarly, Beer Revolution started and grew its business selling specialist and local beers in one of the small spaces and subsequently moved into town.