Probe into the Frank Wingett Cancer Relief Fund, which handed £4.5k in donations to hospital then nothing else for seven years, continues

A cancer charity put under investigation after it failed to donate any money to fighting the disease for seven years has now been removed from the official register.

The Charity Commission says the decision to remove the Frank Wingett Cancer Relief Fund (FWCRF) came as the charity no longer operates.



However, regulatory concerns about previous governance of the charity, run by Wrexham businessman Simon Wingett, are still being probed by the body responsible for monitoring charitable organisations.

It comes after it was revealed last year the FWCRF - which operated a shop at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital until last year - handed £4,500 to the hospital in 2011, but failed to provide a penny more since.

That came despite the fund investing more than £400,000 over the last decade into Mr Wingett's proposed Dragon Project - an 80ft Welsh dragon statue tourist attraction in Chirk.

Neither had it filed any accounts with the Charity Commission since 2014 - something Mr Wingett said wasn't "top of my agenda" due to unforeseen family circumstances.

However, he spoke confidently of the future of the dragon statue that is understood to be unaffected by the closure of the charity, despite planning permission being granted on behalf of the trust.

The council, who is not financially supporting the project, explained the application remains unaffected as planning permission relates to the land, not the applicant.

Speaking to North Wales Live , a former volunteer at the FWCRF hospital shop said they were "happy" the charity was no longer operating.

It came after they were horrified to learn last year their time had seemingly not gone anywhere towards helping people with cancer in the last few years.

"One of the volunteers is still terribly upset. She put so much effort into the shop - she was devastated."

Following a conversation with North Wales Live in March, Mr Wingett said he was "confident" the project would be completed by the summer of 2020.

"I will know a lot more after I've had a meeting in Yorkshire with one of the largest construction companies in the UK who are looking to take the project forward - so I'm crossing my fingers for that," Mr Wingett said at the time.

"They've been looking into the project and have visited the site and they like what they see, so I hope that will take it to the next stage.

"Brexit seems to have stopped everyone from doing everything. Everyone just seems to be sitting on the fence.

The charity’s object was to relieve patients in the Wrexham and district hospitals, in particular those suffering from cancer and allied diseases.

Its aim was to donate medical and surgical equipment and facilities and raise funds for the relief of cancer in Wales.

Mr Wingett fundraised tirelessly for North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Bodelwyddan, and for equipment at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

In 2004, the Daily Post reported charity made a £10,000 donation to Children’s hospice Hope House to fund a garden for the families of seriously ill patients being cared for at the four-bed haven.

It has also been a supporter of Nightingale House Hospice since the inception, making a significant donation to fund the building and development of outpatient facilities in the hospice on Chester Road.

The project was put forward to the council 10 years ago and planning permission was granted in Mr Wingett's name, on behalf of the FWCRF in 2011.

However despite the application lapsing in 2016 after he failed to meet a five year commencement condition, he was granted a five year extension in 2017 to allow him more time to raise the £2.5m needed to get the project up and running. 

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission, said: "Our regulatory compliance case into Frank Wingett Cancer Relief Fund Committee remains ongoing.

"As part of this we have removed the charity from the register on the basis that it no longer operates.

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