An official has told the Welsh Assembly committee that Cardiff Aviation Ltd, the aircraft maintenance firm headed by Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson, has not paid rent for its use of the Twin Peaks hangar facility at MOD St Athan since it started operations there in 2012.
The company started operations with an investment of around £1.6m from the Welsh Government small business subsidiary, Finance Wales but has so far failed to deliver anywhere near the number of jobs promised when it began. Mr Dickinson recently claimed that the firm was “losing millions” because they couldn’t operate outside normal hours and claimed that the Welsh Government hadn’t lobbied the Ministry of Defence hard enough over the ILS system at MOD St Athan.
The amount of rent due is undisclosed however a letter from the Welsh Government to Public Accounts Committee chairman Nick Ramsay said “To date, CAL has not paid any rent for their use of Twin Peaks. The company has put forward a number of reasons for not doing so. The Welsh Government disputes the basis for the non-payment, and we note that other companies operate from St Athan successfully without any issues. The Welsh Government is currently seeking legal advice regarding potential remedies and the recovery of the outstanding debt.”
A spokesman for Cardiff Aviation told the BBC: “We have a good relationship with the Welsh Government and discussions are ongoing which we hope will promptly deliver productive outcomes for all parties.”
The Welsh Government said: “We have been in ongoing discussions with the company for some time about this complex case. For legal reasons we will not be commenting in detail at this stage. The Welsh Government is currently investigating all options to protect the taxpayer interest and resolve this issue.”