Broadgate Farm Cottages – holiday cottages in Yorkshire
Broadgate Farm is owned by Elaine Robinson & Stephen Holtby, we bought the Farm in 2006 and have developed the holiday cottages after gaining planning permission in 2008. The farm buildings were in dire need of maintenance, the area in front of the cottages by the paddocks was dominated by a huge grey painted tin grain dryer and the area behind the Stables, Granary and Barn House was covered by a large pole barn.
Fortunately Steve has run his own Building Company for over 40 years and is particularly skilled at restoring old buildings so we set about converting the holiday cottages and opening up the site by removing the dryer and the pole barn. The benefit of using Steve’s building company was that we know that the cottages have been developed to a high standard, the downside was that Steve often had the pull the men off the barns to work for other customers. This mean’t that any target opening dates had a habit of moving backwards! It is very useful having a builder on the premises, if a repair is needed we can be right onto it!
The first cottages to be developed were the Forge and the Stables which opened in September 2009, the Barn House and the Granary followed in May 2010 and Foldyard opened in September 2011. After a bit of a break we developed another cottage the Cart House in the summer of 2015. In total we can sleep just over 40 people.
We transformed the farm from this to the lovely holiday cottages you now see on the farm. We are very proud of what we have achieved, both of us have worked hard and have invested our hard earned savings in developing this business. Fortunately we are financially independent and can run the business without the interference of investors or financiers, we put our guests needs at the fore front and firmly believe that if we keep guests happy, invest and keep our standards up the business will succeed.
Before the holiday cottages
The buildings that now form the Cart House – the tin dryer in the background has been removed to open up the views.
Hard to believe that this was once the Forge, now a lovely 2 bedroom cottage.
We initially planned to market the cottages through an agency but because we did not have a firm opening date decided to develop our own website just to raise some awareness of the cottages. This worked so well that we have continued to manage all the bookings ourselves, Elaine’s background is in marketing so we have developed the business through our own website and selective advertising. We prefer to deal direct with our guests so that we can offer the best possible service and this means that we can offer best value by cutting out the middlemen.
Steve handles all the development & maintenance and is in charge of the outside areas and our growing numbers of animals. Elaine runs the cottages organising all the housekeeping, running the office, bookings and marketing including the website. We are helped by our housekeeping & gardening team. We live on the farm so are always on hand if guests need assistance or advice, we have met some lovely people over the years.
The heat and hot water for our cottage development is supplied by a series of Ground Source Heat Pumps, we draw heat from the fields around the cottages through a network of pipes, these feed into the heat pumps. The heat pumps are powered by electricity and for every unit we put in the heat pump works it’s magic and produces more units of heat – this can be 3 times what you put in. All our heat pumps are supplied by Kensa Engineering a UK based manufacturer. This means you have nice toasty cottages in the colder months. We also have solar thermal panels on the larger cottages which kick in to heat the water in the summer and we now generate electricity with solar pv panels.