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Some of the Melin Tregwynt team

Not your ‘run of the mill’ business model!

Nid eich model busnes arferol!

The Welsh Government is celebrating doubling the number of employee-owned businesses in Wales - including a highly regarded woollen mill - almost two years ahead of schedule.

Today, on Employee Ownership Day [Friday 21 June], the Welsh Government has announced it has reached its aim of 74 Wales-based businesses being under employee control. This new total had already grown from 37 in 2021 to 63 last year.

The 2026 target was set by previous Economy Minister Vaughan Gething in 2022, hand in hand with a commitment to support buyouts by workers and help ensure Welsh companies remained in Welsh hands.

The Welsh Government’s Business Wales and Social Business Wales services offer specialist advice to support employee buyouts, with fully funded and bespoke assistance available to help business owners decide if employee ownership and share schemes are the right solution for their business.

Pembrokeshire-based woollen mill Melin Tregwynt became employee-owned in 2022, marking the business’s 110th anniversary.

The family-owned mill and shop was handed over to its 42 employees by its owners at the time, Eifion and Amanda Griffiths. Eifion’s grandfather founded the textile business in 1912 after buying the mill.

The ownership has been transferred via a trust and gives all employees a stake in the future of the business. This will preserve the knowledge and traditional skills developed over the last century since the company was founded.

Eifion and Amanda continue to work part-time at Melin Tregwynt. Amanda, said:

“By passing the torch to our employees, we’re not just leaving a business; we’re entrusting a century-old legacy to those who have contributed the most to its success.

“This decision has imbued our business with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment. Our employees, now co-owners, are more invested than ever, driving innovation and ensuring the mill remains a cornerstone of the community. They are not just maintaining the traditions of Melin Tregwynt – they are evolving them, ready to meet the challenges of the future while staying true to the values that have defined our past.”

Jeremy Miles, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Energy and Welsh Language, said:

“Employee ownership delivers numerous benefits for employees and for businesses alike, with evidence showing employee-owned businesses are more productive and more resilient. These are places rooted in their communities, providing quality, long-term jobs for the local area.

“Traditionally, only two to three employee buyout deals have taken place each year in Wales, but this model has grown substantially over the past few years. Achieving 74 such businesses in Wales is a fantastic achievement and I look forward to seeing more in the coming years.”