No 17 Awen Wales Ltd

Awen Wales Ltd

At the end of August 2012 there was a mass resignation of directors from the company Awen Wales Limited which was a private company limited by shares.   In this case there was only one issued £1 share held by the University of Wales.    The home page of the company’s website displays the following statement:

Awen Cymru Ltd. is established as a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Wales to exploit its commercial assets. Awen is the welsh word for inspiration. It is part of the motto of the University of Wales: Goreu Awen Gwirionedd. The Best Inspiration is Truth.

The company was established in January 2010 with four directors, Prof. Robert Marc Clement (the then Vice Chancellor), David Hugh Thomas, Stephen William Owen and John Elfed Jones the prominent businessman and former chairman of Welsh Water.    The last three resigned at the end of August 2012 and they, together with two others associated with the company, complained that they had been let down by the University.  They explained that the Awen Wales Board had initially prepared a sound Business Plan projected to produce a positive and stable cash flow.  They explained that this Business Plan, prepared by experienced businessmen, would require an investment of £300,000 by the University.  The University Council agreed that they would provide the funds as and when they were required.   

Letter of resignation

Their letter of resignation stated that they had started to implement the Business Plan in the belief that the funding would be forthcoming but they found that the University was unwilling to fullfill their promise.   They claim that the University’s failure to provide financial investment resulted in some promising business, which the company had developed from nothing, to be undermined and destroyed.   Employment and consultancy agreements had to be terminated.   They considered that the way they had been treated was unacceptable and a sad reflection on their shareholders, the University of Wales. 

The University claimed that the company made losses of £31,000 and £74,000 in the 2010 and 2011 financial years but it is not possible to check this at the only accounts submitted to Companies House to date are the Dormant Accounts for the first financial year to 31 July 2011.    This means that the company hadn’t traded up to 31 July 2011 so I’m puzzled by the claim that the company had made a loss during the financial years 2010 and 2011.   However, I’m very willing to accept the word of a highly respected business person, John Elfed Jones, and it appears that the University of Wales didn’t make a success of implementing a Business Plan prepared by experienced business people.   The accounts for the year up to 31 July 2012 are due to be submitted in April.

Medwin Hughes appointed director

Prof. Marc Clement resigned as a director on 17 September 2012 and was replaced by his replacement as Vice Chancellor, Prof. Medwin Hughes, leaving him as the sole director of the company.

Other directorships held by Medwin Hughes

As mentioned in Blog 16, Prof. Medin Hughes is also a director of UWTSD Learning Centres Ltd and a number of other limited companies:

The Trinity St David Trust

Welsh American Academy Enterprises Limited

Eclectica Drindod Limited

Trinity University College

Kaleidoscope Project

Ymddiriedolaeth Atgyfnerthu Treftadaeth Sir Gar

Cwmni Creuddyn Cyfyngedig (now dissolved)

Trinity College Library and Ancillary Service (Carmarthen) Limited

Mentrau Iaith Myrddin Cyfyngedig (now dissolved)

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