Melin Tregwynt

Melin Tregwynt – Astudiaeth Achos Perchnogaeth gan Weithwyr

 

Mae melin wlân a siop eiconig Melin Tregwynt wedi symud at fodel Ymddiriedolaeth Perchnogaeth gan Weithwyr (EOT: Employee Ownership Trust) ar ôl i’r perchnogion presennol Eifion ac Amanda Griffiths drosglwyddo’r awenau i 42 o weithwyr y cwmni. Derbyniodd Melin Tregwynt gymorth i wneud hyn gan Busnes Cymdeithasol Cymru, sy’n cael ei ddarparu gan Cwmpas.

Cefndir

Sefydlwyd y felin ym 1912 gan dad-cu Eifion, a brynodd felin decstiliau fach yn Sir Benfro, sydd ers hynny wedi datblygu’n gwmni ffyniannus yn gwehyddu blancedi gwlân, carthenni, ffabrigau a llawer mwy.

Alongside its own stock ranges, the company specialise in short runs and exclusive designs for hotels, designers and specifiers and, over the years, has worked with companies as diverse as John Lewis, Heals, Liberty’s, Muji, Margaret Howell, Comme des Garcons and the BBC, who have all commissioned exclusive ranges.

Mae ei blancedi a’i charthenni wedi’u dylunio ar gyfer tŷ ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ a ‘The Apprentice’, ac mae hefyd wedi gweithio ar brosiectau cydweithredol gydag Oriel Tate, Amgueddfa Victoria & Albert, National Theatre Wales a'r Sefydliad Cymunedol yng Nghymru.

In 2008, the team successfully wove the largest recorded picnic blanket in the world. This 40 x 45 metre blanket is still in the Guinness Book of Records.

Fformiwla Cyfranogiad Gweithwyr

In April 2022 the business formally handed over the ownership of the business to its 42 employees via a trust, giving them all a stake in the future of the business. This will preserve traditional skills and the knowledge gathered over a century or more, since the company was founded.

Bydd Eifion ac Amanda yn aros yn y busnes yn rhan-amser, ac esboniodd Eifion y rhesymau dros drosglwyddo’r cwmni i berchnogaeth y gweithwyr "Fe wnaeth Amanda a finnau etifeddu’r busnes ac rydyn ni wedi’i ehangu’n sylweddol dros y 35 mlynedd diwethaf, ond rydyn ni nawr yn awyddus i gymryd cam yn ôl.

"“Roedd yn bwysig i ni bod Melin Tregwynt yn aros yn fusnes hyfyw ac yn rhan o’r gymuned leol, ac roedd y model perchnogaeth gan weithwyr yn cynnig yr ateb perffaith i ni.

“Byddwn ni’n arwain y bwrdd rheoli newydd drwy’r broses o newid, ond yn bwysicaf oll bydd y 42 o weithwyr yn cadw eu swyddi a bydd eu sgiliau a’u gwybodaeth yn aros yma ac yn cael eu cadw’n fyw.”

Ychwanegodd Eifion: "Rydyn ni’n dal i fod yn fusnes teuluol iawn – nid o ran gwaed yn unig, ond o safbwynt ein hethos, cred neu draddodiad. Mae llawer o’r gweithwyr wedi bod gyda ni ers degawdau, ac mae hyd yn oed tair cenhedlaeth o’r un teulu wedi bod yn rhan o’n tîm. Rwy’n falch iawn fy mod yn trosglwyddo’r cwmni i’r bwrdd gweithwyr newydd ac rwy’n gwybod y bydd yn symud y busnes ymlaen i lefelau twf newydd.”"

Meddai Louise Clarke, Rheolwr Manwerthu Melin Tregwynt, sydd bellach yn aelod o’r Ymddiriedolaeth sydd wedi caffael y busnes:Rydyn ni’n falch iawn ein bod wedi cymryd y busnes drosodd ac mae’n wych bod Eifion ac Amanda yma i’n helpu ni wrth i ni gymryd ein camau cyntaf.

"“Mae gan Melin Tregwynt sylfaen mor gadarn yma yng Ngorllewin Cymru byddai wedi bod yn drasiedi petai cwmni arall wedi ei brynu, ac o bosibl ei newid am byth. Rydyn ni’n ei ystyried yn fraint bod y teulu Griffiths wedi dewis ymddiried ynddo ni fel gweithwyr i ofalu am eu busnes. Rwy’n edrych ymlaen yn fawr i weld beth a ddaw yn y dyfodol yma ym Melin Tregwynt.”"

Disgrifiad O’r Broses

Melin Tregwynt was supported in its transition to Employee Ownership by the Employee Ownership Wales team at Social Business Wales, which is delivered by Cwmpas. Cwmpas’ team was the company’s first point of contact and project managed the process from beginning to end.

Supported by their own legal and accountancy firms, the company was valued, funds were then raised from the banks to buy the shares, and then 100 percent of the shares were transferred into an employee ownership trust. The shareholding is now held in the trust on behalf of the workforce.

Mecanweithiau a gafodd eu defnyddio i roi’r broses ar waith

An employee ownership trust was created as a mechanism to transfer ownership from the Eifion and Amanda to the employees. The trust is overseen by a corporate trustee which has a board which includes trusted advisers, Amanda and Eifion and a staff member. The trust looks after the interests of the employees and the trustees hold the Board of the principal company to account and ensure that they treat employees as owners and run the company in their interests.

The Trustee has one overriding responsibility; it must do its best to protect and reward all the beneficiaries, i.e., the employees of the company. It does this through exercising its rights over the assets of the company as a shareholder.  In turn, the employees can hold the Trustee to account. Usually, the employees as beneficiaries in effect enjoy the same or equivalent rights as any shareholder – a vote at a shareholders meeting, income distribution (usually for tax reasons through a profit-sharing scheme), a say in any sale of the company, a say in any major investment decisions and a right to participate in a solvent winding-up should this ever be required or desired. The main difference is that these rights are exercised through the Trustee rather than directly. The Trustee usually informs its beneficiaries through a report and consults with them on major issues.

Prif fuddion i’r cwmni, gweithwyr a’r amgylchedd/cymdeithas

The use of EOTs has increased dramatically over the past two years, a trend which both protects the business’s legacy and retains employees’ jobs, and Cwmpas were proud to be part of this next step for Melin Tregwynt.

In the case of Melin Tregeynt the use of Employee Ownership Trust being used in this way, safeguards not only jobs, but also the heritage of the business. Being located in a sleepy village in Pembrokeshire, Melin Tregwynt is at the heart of the local community. In fact, some employees have three generations of their family having worked at the mill. Being a successful business there were many options for selling to other producers, but it was only via Employee Ownership that the legacy and history of the mill could be preserved.

As Eifion has commented, the use of an EOT to bring about employee ownership is the perfect way to pass a business on to people who already have a vested interest in it. Employee-owned companies are innovative, motivated and adaptable – and to see a 110-year-old business take this brave next step shows how important employee ownership is.

Derek Walker, Chief Executive of Cwmpas sums it up: “Does dim llawer o bobl yn sylweddoli mai’r model perchnogaeth gan weithwyr yw un o’r modelau busnes modern sy’n tyfu’n fwyaf cyflym yn y DU. Mae rhai o gwmnïau mwyaf llwyddiannus y DU yn eiddo i weithwyr, fel John Lewis, Unipart ac yma yng Nghymru, Waffles Tregroes a Cwmni Da ymhlith eraill. Mae’n ffordd wych o drosglwyddo cwmnïau llwyddiannus i’r genhedlaeth nesaf a dyna pam rydyn ni eisiau annog mwy o sefydlwyr cwmnïau sy’n meddwl am ymddeol, ynghyd â’u gweithwyr, i ystyried yr opsiwn hwn,”"

The smooth transition to ownership by an EOT will help the continuation of the successful woollen mill business and cafe in its unique location, as well as protecting the business legacy of Eifion and Amanda.