June 15, 2024

Rawson Digital at Bellis Brothers; Millie Rawson, Mark Jones, Elizabeth Bellis Marks and Gregg White. Picture Mandy Jones

A historic business in a Wrexham village has boosted its green credentials after installing eight electric vehicle charging points for its customers.

The facility has been installed by Rawson EV Power for Bellis Brothers Farm Shop and Garden Centre, in the pretty community of Holt, and is an added customer benefit for the successful business.

It is part of a growing trend according to Millie Rawson who now heads up Rawson EV Power, which specialises in electric vehicle charging and solar power.

The firm is a sister company to the photocopier and printer business, Rawson Digital, which was set up by Millie’s father, Vaughn Rawson.

They have carried out over 500 vehicle-charging point installations in the past 18 months, from single domestic chargers to multiple units for major employers on the Wrexham Industrial Estate.

According to Millie, demand is soaring because the switch to electric and hybrid vehicles is accelerating

She said: “It started when we decided to fit vehicle charging points at our headquarters on the Industrial Estate when we found that in the end it was easier to do it ourselves than get someone in.

“It has grown from there because there is a real demand from homeowners who can charge their cars overnight to businesses which can provide chargers as a facility for their employees and customers.

“It’s a rapidly growing market and with the Government expecting 20 million new charging points to be needed in the next ten years it’s one with huge potential for growth.”

For businesses it also attracts a grant with a seven-kilowatt charger costing from as little as £949 subsidised to the tune of £350 – and Rawson EV Power claim that back, saving time and trouble for the customer.

The row of hi-tech charging points is a far cry from Bellis Brothers’ beginnings in 1860 as a market garden growing mainly strawberries before Roger Bellis set up a stall on the Wrexham to Chester road in 1973.

That grew rapidly into the successful large-scale business it is today and the installation of the charging points fits with their drive to reduce their carbon footprint, according to director Elizabeth Bellis Marks, Roger’s daughter.

She said: “We are looking at how to make the business more environmentally friendly and that’s why we looked at electric charging points.

“We like to support other local businesses, like Rawson, and once we had one double charger that proved so popular we decided to have three more.

“We already grow much of our own produce and try wherever possible to promote other local producers and nurseries to try and cut food miles and reduce our carbon footprint.

“At the same time it is a way of helping our existing customers and attracting new customers to come here and to spend a little more time at the farm shop and perhaps enjoy a meal at our restaurant.

“It is often an issue for electric vehicle owners to know that they can charge their vehicle and they can do that here, buy some excellent local produce and save the planet too.”

Bellis’s Store Manager Mark Jones added: “It was a bit of a step into the unknown at first but it did fit with our green policy which has included installing LED lighting and planting hedgerows.

“Rawson are a family-run company as we are and their help has been invaluable. They made it all easy for us and did everything from start to finish.”

Gregg White, Rawson EV Technical Manager, said: “We can install charging points ranging from 7-kilowatt which will charge a car in eight hours up to 300-kilowatt chargers which take minutes.

“There are still government grants available for, commercial premises, workplace, and a range of domestic situations which we can arrange. If you charge customers they can pay for themselves in as little as a year and once you are charging your business is included in a map of available charging points which again can drive business.”

Rawson Digital was founded by Vaughn Rawson to supply photocopying and printing machines to businesses across North Wales and the border counties and which has now expanded into IT and the provision of solar PV and electric vehicle charging.

For more information on the Rawson Group go to https://rawsongroup.co.uk/ and for more on Bellis Brothers go to https://www.bellisbrothers.co.uk/