Tower Supplies are a Poole based PPE supplier. A supplier who you would expect to be involved during a pandemic. They were awarded £40 million of contracts by DHSC though approximately 25% of the PPE they supplied was marked as "Do Not Supply" by the UK Government.
There were two contracts awarded, both for £20.25 million and they came via the VIP Channel. The contracts were for disposable coveralls. On Contract finder, the supplier address is very limited with one showing Dorset and the other showing Poole.
The first contract was one of the first PPE contracts awarded on 11th April 2020. The attachments for both contracts don't show the actual contract only a statement about it being a negotiated procedure without prior publication.
Spotlight on Corruption reported that they had received information following a FOI, that shows £10.6 million of the PPE supplied by Tower Supplies was categorised as do not supply.
The structure behind "Tower Supplies" is somewhat unusual. They are not a LTD company or a sole trader/partnership but instead appear to be trust managed by trustees which are all limited companies and individuals.
Terms of trading on Tower Supplies website show them as Wyderington Ltd, Ashley & Pollock Ltd, Parley Chase Ltd, Jondan Ltd and John, Daniel & Jonathan Aris as the Trustees of the Tower Trust trading as Tower Supplies.
This means there is no way of seeing the company turnover, profits or tax. What we can see are the shareholder funds in each of the above LTD companies. Though a further level of complexity is added with some of the LTD being owned by parent companies!
Wyderington Ltd shareholder funds total £4.2 millon, with the parent Wyderington Assets Ltd having funds of 8k. Ashley & Pollock funds total 221k, with the parent Ashley & Pollock Assets Ltd having funds of £1.8 million.
Parley Chase Ltd shows funds of £2.7 million with the parent Parley Chase Assets Ltd £1.7 million. Jondan Ltd is a non trading Ltd company.
In total shareholder funds of £10.6 million. Sounds like a familiar number? It is the same amount as PPE marked do not supply.
Looking back pre pandemic the shareholder funds totalled £6.1 million. So it would appear business since the pandemic has been good to Tower Supplies.
The structure raises a number of questions:
One footnote, Hansard shows on 30th Jan 2018, Michelle Donelan Tory Minister, raised a question in parliament about Tower Supplies & contract awards.
It is interesting to note that Jerry Turner, her uncle through marriage lives in her Chippenham constituency & is the Safety Director at Tower Supplies.
Uncle Jerry was also the director of Stronghold Global Ltd from 2013-2017. This is where her husband Tom Turner is now Commercial Director.
Tower Supplies is another company owned by members of the Exclusive Plymouth Brethren.