North Wales hydro firm powers ahead with multi million pound investment

A multi million pound investment deal has given a big boost to an award-winning hydro power development firm.

The injection of cash into the already successful North Wales Hydro Power will enable to the company to expand more rapidly.

The company was founded two years ago by one of Wales’s brightest young entrepreneurs, Richard Rees, 24, from Rhyd-y-Foel, near Abergele.

He gave up to a promising career in property management to follow his dream of going into business.

According to Mr Rees, the investment from the international HYDROPOL Group was a massive vote of confidence.

It will enable North Wales Hydro Power to develop more hydroelectric schemes in Wales and to expand across the border into other parts of the UK.

In Wales alone, the Environment Agency has identified 396,000 kilowatts of potential capacity.

North Wales Hydro Power currently specialises in smaller hydroelectric projects of around 100 kilowatts, costing between £400,000 and £600,000.

The company, which also has an office in Shrewsbury, currently employs three people and Mr Rees is looking to recruit at least two more this year.

He said: “The investment from HYDROPOL is fantastic news because we are now unlimited as to the number of schemes we can do.

“When I started, the plan was to carry on with my day job at Carter Jonas and to do one or two schemes in my spare time and then things just snowballed.

“The scale of the demand meant that it was capable of occupying me full time – there is great potential for growth.

“HYDROPOL have 20 years’ experience in the industry and they have more buying power in addition to being a well established and well respected company.

“This investment means that I have more time to focus on the day to day business and on the schemes.

“The good thing about hydro is that we can employ local contractors, so it’s great for the rural economy.”

Hydropol Commercial Manager Petr Noscak, the newly appointed Investment Director at North Wales Hydro Power, said the tie up between the two companies was the perfect fit.

He said: “We are extremely pleased to take our first steps in the UK hydro sector with North Wales Hydro Power.

“It has taken a lot of effort to find the right partner in the UK and I am now looking forward to working with Richard and growing the business in Wales.

“We understand there are many local businesses who will benefit from our partnership in terms of investment into the local economy, sustaining and creating new jobs.

“We also hope our support will allow North Wales Hydro Power to consider larger projects both in Wales and across the UK.”

Another key to the success of North Wales Hydro, said Mr Rees, was the help and support he’s received Conwy Rural Partnership’s Rural Business Support (CRBS).

He added: “Conwy Rural Business Support (CRBS) have been incredibly helpful. Being given help in accessing grants and assistance on different aspects of the business were really valuable.

“I got a Graduate Bursary from the Welsh Government which I was made aware of by CRBS – I got a total of £6,000 over six months.

“It was really important and made a lot of things possible – without it, it would have been much more difficult.

“Setting up a business is a potential minefield so their help in avoiding possible pitfalls was also important. I’m very grateful for the help I had.”

Anna Openshaw, the Project Officer for Conwy Rural Business Support, is delighted by the success of North Wales Hydro, especially as Richard Rees was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2012 Conwy Rural Business Awards.

She said: “Richard Rees is one of Wales’s brightest young entrepreneurs and we are very proud of the part we are playing in helping the company to flourish.

“Winning the award last year boosted Richard’s profile and helped open doors for him. I would encourage any entrepreneurs in rural Conwy to get in touch with us.

“North Wales Hydro Power is proof positive, with the right support, you can establish and run a successful business from rural Conwy while enjoying the benefits of the spectacular surroundings.”

For more information about the free support and advice that’s available to small businesses in rural Conwy contact Anna Openshaw by emailing or ringing 01492 577834/5. If you want more information about North Wales Hydro Power visit

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