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Dragon sculpture businessman hits back over charity claim

By Jonny Drury | Mid Wales | News | Published:

A businessman today defended himself after the Charity Commission raised concerns about a lack of donations from a charity cancer fund hospital shop and its investment into building a Welsh dragon sculpture.

How the dragon will look

Simon Wingett, who runs the Frank Wingett Cancer Relief Fund, handed £4,500 to the Wrexham Maelor Hospital in 2011 from its hospital shop fund, but no money has been donated since.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said it had agreed with Mr Wingett that the shop should close in March after “concerns about the lack of donations”.

It has also been revealed that in the last 10 years money from the fund has been used to invest more than £400,000 in a project to build a Welsh dragon sculpture tourist attraction in Chirk.

The Charity Commission has confirmed it is looking into the management of the fund, which was set up by Simon’s father Frank Wingett, a former auctioneer and businessman from Wrexham who died in 1987.

A spokeswoman said: “The commission has opened a regulatory compliance case to look into serious concerns about the management and administration of the Frank Wingett Cancer Relief Fund.

“We are reviewing information provided by the trustee, and have requested further information as a matter of urgency, in order to assess compliance with their legal duties towards the charity.”

No accounts had been filed with the Charity Commission since 2014.

Mr Wingett said the sculpture would deliver a £1.5 million asset which will raise significant sums of monies for cancer-related charities.

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He said: “There hasn’t been any money given since 2011, but that was when the planning permission and planning began on the project, which is going to be donating a significant amount of money to a number of charities.

“I have been behind on the paperwork, that is what has happened and I have been contacted by the charity commission.

“The fund has donated money over the years, and the dragon project will be raising further money for charities, helping the economy and creating jobs.”

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury
@JonnyDrury_Star

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.

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