A trail-blazing family business near Skipton has been named as the first location in Yorkshire to launch a Be.EV electric vehicle charging hub.
Emma and Chris Harrison, who run Thornton Hall Country Park in Thornton-in-Craven, transformed their family farm into a thriving business and tourist attraction after they took over the business from Chris’ parents.
Managing director Emma said: “We like to think we’ve always been resilient and innovative over the years so installing electric chargers was the next logical step.
“We have seen more electric vehicles coming to the farm and more people have been asking about them when planning weddings or parties, so we are confident there is a demand.”
Emma and Chris were forced to rethink their farm’s future when foot and mouth disease devastated their livestock in 2001. While they remain dedicated to running a working farm, it is also a popular wedding venue and family attraction, with around a hundred events taking place each year.
During COVID they diversified by offering a drive through experience and concentrated on outdoor attractions such as the Christmas adventure, a drive-thru safari and drive-in movies.
Emma added: “By installing electric chargers we are continuing to follow that path of being part of something ground-breaking. It means we’re becoming a bit of a destination for EV drivers desperate for a charge, as well as serving our regular visitors who may be switching to EV. It’s a win win. It being the first Be.EV charging hub in Yorkshire makes it especially exciting!”
Thornton Hall is currently undergoing a huge renovation with plans to reopen in April.
Asif Ghafoor, CEO of Be.EV, said: “We’re investing in EV chargers where the communities of the North need them. Rural areas, towns and villages are often overlooked, with many providers investing infrastructure in urban areas first – but the EV revolution is happening all over the UK, not just in cities. To get people to switch to electric, we need a working, dense charging network across our region. And if that means crossing the border into Yorkshire to unite the North, we’re all for it!
“We’re delighted to announce that our first charging hub in Yorkshire will be at Thornton Hall – but watch this space, our network across the region is growing at a rapid rate.”
Be.EV is the largest public EV charging network in Greater Manchester and is expanding at pace across the North of England.
The installation of the chargers will be financed by a record breaking crowdfunding campaign by Be.Ev parent company, Iduna. More than 1300 investors raised £4m in 2021 via regulated ethical investment crowdfunding platform, Abundance Investment to fund the roll out of electric vehicle chargers across the Greater Manchester region. Iduna is raising a further £6.5m with Abundance in 2022 to finance expanding the network further. More information here.
With 140 charging points in place and a growing pipeline of new sites secured, Be.EV is working with private businesses, developers, NHS trusts, universities and local authorities to secure enough sites in 2022 to create a 1,000-strong network.