Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business


IoD Marks Festive Finish to Business Year at Annual Christmas Lunch


Business leaders from North Wales heard from the director behind the rapid growth of a leading national theatre and a choir seen on Britain’s Got Talent at an Institute of Directors (IoD) event.

Liam Evans-Ford, executive director at Theatr Clwyd, was the keynote speaker at the IoD’s annual North Wales Christmas lunch, which was held jointly with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Cymru Wales.

His talk followed a performance from Only Boys Aloud, a Welsh male voice choir which gained UK-wide recognition after finishing third in ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent show in 2012.

Liam discussed the creative hub’s development since opening in 1967, and how it remains one of only four theatres in the UK to operate in-house departments specialising in skills including painting, carpentry, and costume design.

The theatre boss also explained his organisation’s status as a publically funded arts centre, and how it generates £6.91 for every pound it receives from Flintshire County Council.

He joined Theatr Clwyd as its first executive director in May 2016, and has overseen a 28 per cent increase in turnover from £5 million to £6.4 million.

Eleri Watkins, North Wales project manager for Only Boys Aloud, spoke about the choir, which operates as a charity engaging with 200 boys between the ages of 11-19 from disadvantaged backgrounds across Wales each week.

Choral conductor Tim Rhys-Evans MBE established the organisation in 2010, with the group going on to sing at No 10 Downing Street and on BBC One’s Sport Relief programme.

Liam said:

“The Christmas lunch was a fantastic platform to talk about the business behind our art at Theatr Clwyd.

“We utilise our funding to provide consistently high-quality productions, with many shows created at our base going on to tour across the UK. More than 200,000 people viewed one of these Theatr Clwyd produced plays during the past 12 months, and £1.6 million was generated through ticket sales.

“I hope everyone took something useful from the event and wish them a successful year of business in 2019.”

Helen Watson, IoD North Wales Ambassador and partner and head of employment law at Aaron & Partners, said:

“The Christmas lunch is the IoD’s flagship business event of the year, and once again, it didn’t disappoint.

“We kicked off with a fantastic performance from Only Boys Aloud, which was also the event’s chosen charity for the afternoon, before finding out about the economics of running a major theatre from Liam.

“I’m looking forward to welcoming both members and non-members to our 2019 events, which will be announced on the IoD website.”

The IoD is the longest-standing organisation to serve and support business leaders, with more than 100 years of service in raising professional standards.

Prior to the event, Jean Church, chair of IoD Wales, talked to the North Wales Local TV network about the importance of connectivity, professionalism, and localisation, which are benefits derived by IoD members.

You don’t need to be a company director to join the IoD. Senior managers are welcome from large public organisations to small family firms.

Members benefit from services including free business advice, a full training programme, research facilities and networking events.

To find out more information about becoming an IoD member, contact Kerri-Anne Mruk on 02920 389 990 or email [email protected].