William McNamara OBE


William McNamara OBE is used to a challenge, in fact he’s become quite adept at them with his role as CEO of Bluestone, yet he’s sure to face his biggest challenge to date as he undertakes the ultimate adventure – an expedition to the South Pole.

A Pembrokeshire man by birth, William McNamara had been destined for a career in farming but during the mid 80s, as the industry went through a series of changes, William realised his future lay elsewhere. He chose to diversify into the leisure industry, and over the next 15 years, carved out such a successful career that he was awarded an OBE for services to tourism. Around fourteen years ago, however, William realised there was a gap in the market for activity-based short breaks, with an emphasis on high quality accommodation and standards of service. He also knew that in the beautiful county of Pembrokeshire, he already had the ideal setting. But William wanted something iconic.
A flagship development for Wales. He envisaged a world-class, year-round leisure and holiday destination that would be designed and built to operate in harmony with Pembrokeshire’s natural splendour. Over the next ten years, William researched and honed his vision. In 2002 he unveiled his plans. And in 2008 Bluestone became a burgeoning reality. It has grown from what Business Insider magazine called ‘the biggest and most ambitious start-up Wales has ever seen,’ into a crucial economic driver for Pembrokeshire.

Bluestone is one of the biggest private sector employers in the county, and inject around £35 million into the local economy every year. It strives to be at the forefront of developing green technologies in a real world setting, learning lessons that can be applied across the wider leisure industry. Ten years after William McNamara woke up with a germ of an idea, Bluestone has become what he wanted it to be; an icon for Wales.