Entrepreneurs gain loan to front boutique hostel

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A unique luxury hostel is opening in the heart of Cardiff this January after receiving a £30,000 micro loan from Finance Wales.

The first of its kind in the city, the Safehouse Hostel (Safehouse) is a high-end boutique hostel ideally situated on Cardiff’s famous Westgate Street, which runs next to the Millennium Stadium.

Having already invested their own funds into the business as well as securing several co-investors, owners Daniel Wimpleberg and Tom Hughes used the Finance Wales loan to cover marketing costs in preparation to the hostel’s official opening later this month.

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The two partners will initially employ two additional members of staff for the hostel with a view to further potential recruitment later in the year.

Co-owner and manager, Daniel Wimpleberg, said: “The Safehouse hostel has a very clear idea behind it, we want to meet the needs of the independent travellers who come through Cardiff whist providing a luxurious and social atmosphere in which they can meet like-minded people and explore the many attractions of Cardiff.

“Affordable doesn’t have to mean budget and our research has shown there is a gap in the market for accommodation for the independent traveller that offers a high level of service.

“We are in a prime location being so close to the city centre and the stadium and we expect to be very busy with the upcoming Six Nations rugby matches especially as we are already fully booked for the Word Cup in October.

“Finance Wales’ backing has been key for us and has meant we have been able to dedicate a vital resource to offline and online promotions in the build up towards our official opening.”

Situated in a stunning Victorian listed building the hostel has shared bedrooms, private bedrooms and a deluxe room. The accommodation intends to gain five-star status within the first 18 months, which would make it only the second five-star hostel in Wales.

Safehouse has already grabbed local attention with some novel marketing campaigns, including one which utilised empty shop windows in the city centre to place restored Victorian safes that promote the business and will eventually be used in the accommodation.

Having worked closely with organisations such as Visit Wales, the hostel plans to be a cultural experience in itself by promoting the best of Cardiff and the surrounding areas.

Finance Wales Portfolio Executive, Kelly Jones supported the loan. She said: “Tom and Dan are hugely passionate about the Safehouse Hostel and have done an enormous amount of detailed research on location, target markets and pricing to ensure they have the absolute best chance of success.

“Their accommodation will be unique to Cardiff, an attraction in itself while actively promoting the local tourist hotspots which will help to boost the local economy. “

The Safehouse Hostel was funded by the £6 million Wales Micro-business Loan Fund backed by the Welsh Government.

Established by the Welsh Government in 2001, Finance Wales provides commercial funding to small and medium-sized businesses in Wales to enable them to realise their potential for innovation and growth.

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