Cwmni Da

  • Award-winning TV company based in Caernarfon, employing 50, with a £5 million turnover. Cwmni Da is known for making factual, drama and children’s programmes, primarily Welsh-language.
  • Transitioned to employee ownership in 2018 with the support of Social Business Wales.
  • The process saw the company valued, funds raised from banks to buy the shares, and 100 percent of the shares were transferred into an Employee Ownership Trust.
  • The shareholding is held in the Trust on behalf of the workforce. The Trust is overseen by a Corporate Trustee and a board which includes a solicitor, accountant, the Managing Director, and a staff member. The Trust looks after the interests of the employees and decides annually how much is re-invested and how much is paid to staff.
  • Smooth business succession, keeping the company locally-rooted, workforce empowerment, buy-in and engagement, and the ability to manage ongoing culture change were the key incentives to EO for the Managing Director.
  • A profit share at the end of the year, and the possibility of a tax-free lump sum of up to £3,600 for employee shareholders has been a major plus for staff.
  • Learnings: a successful transition relies upon a strong team, expert external advisors, open and honest communication between the company hierarchies and a realistic timetable.