Abbey House Hotel & Gardens Case Study

There are lots of reasons for hotel and event destinations to consider fast, fair and future-proof EV charging:

  • Enhanced guest and staff experience
  • Competitor differentiation
  • Minimised carbon footprint
  • Servicing the wider community
  • Solutions in keeping with a Heritage or Listed status

For these reasons, more and more hotels are looking to add electric vehicle charging points to their sites. Research has highlighted that by investing in EV charging stations today, and tapping into the natural transition towards electric vehicles, hotels will attract the guest of tomorrow ahead of time.

But where to start? How to access the right expertise? What’s the long-term strategy? Where will the funding come from? How will the chargers be maintained and will staff have to deal with any issues? All valid questions, and what better way to find out more, than to see how these challenges were tackled by one of your peers in your sector.


About Abbey House Hotel & Gardens

The iconic Abbey House Hotel & Gardens is a luxury, four-star Cumbrian hotel and venue set on 14 acres of gardens in Barrow-in-Furness. Built in 1914 by the prolific and internationally acclaimed architect Edwin Lutyen – who designed celebrated buildings and monuments such as The Cenotaph and Hyderabad Palace – Abbey House Hotel & Gardens became Grade II* listed in 1949. It is just a short drive from the heart of the English Lake District and it is a hugely popular tourist, wedding and corporate events destination.

Always modernising

Despite its focus on heritage, the team at Abbey House Hotel & Gardens are always looking to move with the times and to listen to the wants and needs of their guests and the communities they serve. That is why they have partnered with EV infrastructure specialists Be.EV to create a total of 10 new EV charging bays on site, playing their part in transforming the EV charging provision in the area without negatively influencing its iconic architecture and idyllic setting.

Low Carbon Barrow

The installation of these new EV charging points will also help the hotel play an active part in both the Low Carbon Barrow and Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership initiatives which are working towards making Cumbria the first net zero carbon county in the UK by 2037. Abbey House Hotel & Gardens is proud to play its small part in working towards this ambitious target – and in helping meet local demand and drive behaviour change in promoting the important switch to cleaner electric vehicles.

The Be.EV way – early engagement

The team at Abbey House Hotel & Gardens asked Be.EV to develop a considered and future-proof EV charging solution that was right for their site and their local area. This included a deep-dive discovery phase which was completely FREE OF CHARGE, in order to:

  • Help educate the teams on the various EV charging technologies and the different considerations to evaluate.
  • Explore how EV chargers could be installed in a way that was sensitive to the listed status of this historic hotel and its land.
  • Engage with the incumbent architects as well as local planning teams and relevant protection societies to arrive at the right solution that is sensitive to the historical site and the local area.
  • Evaluate the power requirement and complete all complex due diligence work to get power to the site.
  • Research EV charging demand in the locality and help to set a fair pricing model.

Charging for the whole community

The Abbey House Hotel & Gardens team were looking to uniquely improve the EV charging provision not just for their staff and guests, but for the wider community too. The hotel is very close to the Furness General Hospital, and the plan is to make these competitively priced charge points accessible and available to staff and patients where needed.

Equally, the site will be able to service passing traffic, other tourists and EV users, and local businesses like BAE Systems, GSK, Siemens and Kimberly-Clark.

This community minded approach is very much in keeping with Abbey House Hotel & Gardens’ vision to be an engaged member of the community, and Be.EV’s focus on social value and championing equal access.

Bespoke and accessible charging

Across the 10 bays, Be.EV proposed a clever mix of Ultra-fast and Fast chargers: Ultra-fast for those quickly topping up (e.g. for a hospital consultant or nurse) and Fast chargers for guests who might need charge overnight. The plans have been developed to ensure the charging bays are safe and well-lit, fairly priced, accessible for anyone with mobility issues, and yet in no way detract from the stunning setting or interfere with the guest experience.

End-to-end solution

Abbey House Hotel & Gardens was attracted by Be.EV’s commitment to develop a fully funded and fairly priced solution at no cost to the hotel. This includes FREE initial strategic advice, design (with the hotel’s architect team), build, installation and ongoing operations and maintenance of all charge points.

End-to-end solution

“A fit for purpose, designed and maintained operating bank of chargers, fit for a listed hotel, at zero cost.”

And finally, a word from Abbey House Hotel & Gardens CEO – Brian Conroy

“We knew we needed to offer EV charging for our guests, but we didn’t know where to start. The Be.EV team helped us get our head round the different types of chargers and all the different aspects we needed to consider. They even worked with our architects to make sure whatever we install is sensitive to our listed status and our beautiful grounds.

Like us, the Be.EV approach is all about putting the customer and the local public first. They looked at what we need to provide now, based on visitor trends and existing local infrastructure. But they also made sure we have a plan for the next decade, as the number of EVs increases.

As a business, we are ready to invest to reduce our carbon footprint. As it happens, Be.EV’s solution is delivered at no cost to us and connects us to a growing regional network, with added benefits for the local community. It’s a win-win!”