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Wales Co-operative Centre Appoints New Directors


The Wales Co-operative Centre has today announced the appointment of Rhian Edwards as Commercial Director and Joanne Jones as Director of Finances and Resources to provide leadership and strategic direction for the organisation’s business development and commercial activities.

Rhian Edwards continues her upward trajectory in the organisation, having spent the last 12 months developing the Centre’s first dedicated commercial consultancy service, Social Business Connect*. Prior to this role, Rhian has been delivering public sector facing consultancy for the Centre for the last nine years, working with high profile clients such as NHS Shared Services, Public Health Wales, Development Bank of Wales and Transport for Wales. She has also managed a range of social enterprise business support programmes for the Centre in that time, including the £11 million funded Social Business Wales project and the Business Succession & Consortia project.

Joanne Jones joins the Wales Co-operative Centre as the new Director of Finances and Resources bringing a wealth of experience in audit, accounting and risk. A Chartered Accountant, her career started in an accountancy practice, where clients were predominantly not for profit organisations but also included manufacturing, retail and service companies. The last four years Joanne has spent in a private commercial healthcare company where she led on finance, HR and IT.

Derek Walker, Chief Executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre, said:

“The Wales Co-operative Centre has been in business since the early 1980s. Our sustainability has been the result of strong governance, a reputation of delivery but also our ability to identify and nurture talent within our ranks. Rhian is a perfect example of this. From the first day she joined us, she has always showed vision and ambition to diversify our income base and find new ways to achieve our goals and strengthen our business.

“With Joanne alongside her as our new Director of Finances and Resources we now have a strong leadership team in place to grow our commercial arm of the business and secure more contracts with the public and private sectors.”

The Wales Co-operative Centre is Wales’ national body for co-operatives, mutuals, social enterprises and employee owned businesses. Since 1982, the Centre has applied its co-operative values to strengthen and empower communities by supporting the growth of co-operatives and social enterprises. The Centre has offices in Caerphilly, Swansea, Carmarthen, Bangor and employs 92 staff.

*Social Business Connect is the Wales Co-operative Centre’s first dedicated commercial consultancy service. Launched in April 2019, the service was designed to support organisations in the development of their supply chains in order to trade with the social business sector.  The consultancy service is currently working with Development Bank of Wales, Transport for Wales, Public Health Wales, NHS Shared Services and Merthyr Valleys Homes to help increase the social and environmental value impact of procurement.