Link Holdings (Gibraltar) Ltd Revisited

Some seven years ago I wrote about a company called Link Holdings (Gibraltar) Ltd. It was difficult to get to the bottom of it all because the companies involved were registered offshore.

It all started when it was brought to my attention that properties in Swansea used by housing associations were leased or rented from Link. After a bit of digging I was satisfied that, in various forms and under different names, Link had been operating in and around Swansea, and across the south, for decades.

But, as I say, due to the various entities being offshore, and information hard to come by, there was a limit to how far I could go. In the end I just had to leave it and move on.

Even so, to help you understand better what you’re going to read, and for me to avoid repeating myself too much, I suggest you read the piece from 2016.


We are going to deal with an issue that’s been rumbling on for a long, long time; with politicians of all stripes promising to tackle it. For those unclear what I’m talking about, the leasehold system is explained here.

Here’s George Thomas demanding change in 1961, in a surprisingly impressive speech (considering who’s making it). Nothing happened.

Leasehold is again discussed in a 1985 parliamentary exchange between Ron Davies MP and Nick Edwards, Secretary of State for Wales.

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To bring us up to date, Labour promises to abolish leasehold within 100 days of winning the next UK general election. The wording of the article suggests the proposed legislation will also cover Wales.

Which would of course save the so-called ‘Welsh Government’ from having to do anything. Though it might have some powers now.

I say that because the ‘Welsh Government’ has given thought to leasehold. Here’s a July 2019 report, Residential Leasehold Reform, from a task and finish group.

With the quote below from page 29, made in March 2018 by the Minister for Housing and Regeneration, Rebecca Evans.

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But this report from March 2021, despite containing ‘next steps’ in the title, suggests that ‘Welsh Government’ is just kicking the can down the road.

In fairness, and as I’ve suggested, leasehold reform might be an Englandandwales matter; but if so, it hasn’t stopped Corruption Bay from creating the post of Head of Leasehold Reform. Does that job title suggest he has staff!

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You won’t be surprised to learn that this job went to an insider. His name is Timothy Mann, formerly with the Labour party’s favourite housing association, Wales & West.

But FFS! If ‘Welsh Government has the power to act on leasehold, then why doesn’t it? But if it doesn’t have the power to act then why waste time and money faffing about with task and finish bullshit and sinecures for cronies?

It would appear that Labour in Wales has rowed back from outright opposition to leasehold to merely being against the sale of leases on new-build properties.

One reason might be Registered Social Landlords (housing associations), which are funded by the ‘Welsh Government’. For since their privatisation in 2018 many, perhaps most, have set up subsidiaries, which now build private housing for the open market . . . often leasehold, or ‘shared ownership’.

Also, and as I reported in the 2016 piece, housing associations are quite happy to lease property from Link Holdings (Gibraltar) Ltd, and perhaps other companies. With the ‘Welsh Government’ fully aware of this.

To make sense of it, understand that housing associations, especially in the urban south, are extensions of the Labour party. So if housing associations are doing lots of business with leasehold firms, or selling leaseholds themselves, then this might explain why ‘Welsh Government’ is reluctant to implement leasehold reform. 

But if intervention comes from the next Labour government in London then the bruvvers down here can hold their hands up and say, “Nothing to do with us“.

OK, that’s a more general picture on leasehold, time now to turn to the latest news about Link Holdings (Gibraltar) Ltd, and what I’ve unearthed.


This return to Link Holdings (Gibraltar) Ltd was prompted by an e-mail I received last week. Let the senders explain with this extract from that e-mail.

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You must admit, it’s a worrying tale. If the couple that wrote to me hadn’t opened the innocuous-looking letter from Companies House they might have lost their home.

You’ll see Castlebeg mentioned, that we encountered earlier in the Davies-Edwards House of Commons exchange. This was another horse out of the Link stable, based in Jersey. I use the past tense because the company’s dissolved.

Also based in Jersey were Cymru Management Ltd and Cymru Investments Ltd, both of which were connected with Link Holdings. The former has filed nothing since January 2021, and the latter was dissolved in September of that year.

Was this in anticipation of the new legislation you’ll soon be reading about?

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And yet . . . another document I unearthed, for a UK-registered company owned by the family I believe is behind Link Holdings, suggests there is still a company using the ‘Gwalia’ name. This document is dated 24 January 2023.

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The Cymru Investments Ltd just mentioned was once known as Gwalia Investments Ltd, but the name changed many years ago. The date of the filing above suggests an active company. But in which jurisdiction?

Let’s return to the reason for this update.

Here’s the title document sent by my source (already highlighted.) I’ve made redactions for obvious reasons but you can see that in January, this property, for which both leasehold and freehold had been purchased by my contacts, was still, according to the Land Registry, owned by Link Holdings (Gibraltar) Ltd.

There are other title numbers mentioned on the document I’ve just linked to, and these refer to a property on Neath Road in Plasmarl. The freehold is held of course by Link, but the leasehold by Caredig Housing Association. Again, we see a connection between Link and a housing association.

Anyway, after reading and digesting the information I’d been sent, it was time to make fresh enquiries into Link, maybe pick up where I’d left off in 2016.


The first stop was Companies House. And there, against my expectations, I found Link Holdings (Gibraltar), registered as an Overseas Entity 23 November 2022. The only officer / director listed is Sovereign Fiduciary Directors Ltd of Gibraltar.

This registration with Companies House ties in with the Register of Overseas Entities legislation that came into force 1 August 2022, demanding that . . .

Overseas entities who want to buy, sell or transfer property or land in the UK, must register with Companies House and tell us who their registrable beneficial owners or managing officers are.

Explained again here.

There’s nothing really to see on the Companies House entry apart from the Registration document itself (OE01). Though it is quite revealing. For if you scroll down to ‘Part 13 Disposal of land’, you’ll hit a few pages of Land Registry title numbers.

Forty-nine titles in all. From my quick dip I’m guessing that most if not all of them are ‘multiples’, covering a number of properties, with a total running into the hundreds.

It would have been too much work, and too expensive, to check them all; so with each page containing 8 titles I settled for one from each page.

Despite being chosen at random, all were in the Swansea area, the furthest out being Ammanford. The others in Penclawdd, Sketty, Waunarlwydd, and Dunvant.

The first we’ll look at is Ammanford, 9 properties on Maes yr Hâf, off Dyffryn Road. Here’s a view. Next, Penclawdd. Twenty-two properties at a new development on the Gowerton Road.

Sketty is 16 properties on an older development. There seem to be 8 properties in the Waunarlwydd development. Finally, at Dunvant, we find (by my figuring) the title covering 35 separate properties. I won’t link to the title document because lessees are named. These properties are scattered about on Hendrefoilan Road, Derlwyn, Gwelfor, and a few other nooks and crannies.

All the Killay / Dunvant properties would seem to be covered by this map.

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That’s a total of 90 properties on five randomly chosen Link Holdings titles.

And remember, these are just the titles disposed of between 28 February 2022 and the dates of the application, the latest of which was 7 November 2022. There will be many, many more titles held by Link.

For example, the Hirwaun title that started the ball rolling again is not listed.

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To give some understanding of how much property Link owns go to Private Eye‘s Tax Haven map. Or try the Excel database (the link for this is just above the map). Admittedly, these only go up to 2014, but they’re revealing; and this research helped bring about the law to register overseas entities owning UK property.

Open the Excel file and, even though there are many Link properties before, and after, if you start at 73397 (left-hand column) you’ll hit a long sequence of Link properties due to the ‘WA’ Land Registry prefix.

Most seem to be in the Swansea area, but they’re spread across the south (with the exception of Blaenau Gwent), though perhaps no further west than Llanelli.

If you’re smart enough with Excel then you can probably extract all the Link properties from the document. (In fact, I’d appreciate it if someone could do that.)

The area we’re looking at next is north east Swansea, either side of the M4. The properties in orange in the Private Eye map on the left are relatively new and all Link Holdings leaseholds.

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Funny, isn’t it? ‘Welsh Government’ says it’s opposed to new builds being leasehold, but this seems to be exactly what Link’s been doing for decades.

UPDATE: Thanks to some outside help Link Holdings’ Welsh titles have been extracted from the PE data and arranged in local authority order.


If you look at the Land Registry title documents I’ve used in this article you’ll see addresses given on the first page, against ‘Registered owners’. Link Holdings is obviously listed but beneath the company name the contact details given are:

Sovereign Fiduciary Services Ltd, Po Box No 564,
Sovereign Place, 117 Main Street, Gibraltar, GX11 1AA
107 Charterhouse Street, London EC1M 6HW
3rd Floor, 11-12 Wind Street, Swansea SA1 1DP

The Gibraltar address is obviously Link’s representative on The Rock, but the other two are solicitors. One is Sayers Butterworth LLP in London, the other Smith Llewelyn in Swansea.

I saw no point in contacting Sovereign Fiduciary Services at its plush downtown offices. But I thought it might be worth approaching the solicitors, to see if they had anything to say about their client.

Quite a departure. It’s normally solicitors contacting me! “Oi! our client . . . “.

I sent each solicitor an e-mail, on Wednesday last week. But I’ve received no reply. I think they’re waiting to see what I write before contacting me.

I’m 90% sure I know who’s behind Link Holdings. It’s an established business family in Swansea. The name suggests their ancestors might have been part of the Cornish migration of the 18th and 19th centuries, following the tin and the copper to Swansea.

Though they seem to have deserted the City of My Dreams for Hampshire, Fulham, and God knows what other hell-holes!

My many admirers on the left might describe those behind Link as, “bloodsucking capitalists!“, or some other carefully-honed and rationally presented response such as we hear from the comrades nowadays.

But me, well, I see it differently. A moral and regulated capitalist system is the only way to create wealth and employment. With the prosperous and egalitarian democracy that results the surest guarantee against the extremes of left and right.

There’s more I could say about the leasehold model; for this throwback to feudalism should have been abolished a long time ago along with droit du seigneur.

Such as people contacting me who thought they’d bought their new house outright, only to discover the hard (and expensive) way that what they’d actually bought was a lease. Leasehold is a system that invites deception and corruption. It should be abolished.

But instead of signing off with a rant I’ve decided to wind up this wee opus with some harmless musing.

  • How many others have found themselves in the position of my Hirwaun contacts, with Link Holdings claiming to own their home?
  • How many others are in that situation without knowing it because they haven’t checked what’s filed with the Land Registry?
  • Given that in recent decades Link has concentrated on new build properties, what is the company’s relationship with the builders involved? Is Link buying ‘off plan’? Or is Link commissioning the building of these developments in order to sell the leaseholds and retain the freeholds?
  • What is Link’s relationship with Swansea council, which cannot be unaware of the company’s activities? What would the council say to those who’ve been denied the opportunity to buy a home outright by Link hoovering up the freeholds and only offering leasehold agreements?
  • Labour has argued against the leasehold system for at least 60 years, yet in 24 years of devolution has done nothing. Is this another example of Labour making promises out of power and failing to deliver when it has power?
  • Is the ‘Welsh Government’ comfortable with certain Welsh housing associations renting / leasing property from a company of unknown ownership hiding away in a tax haven?

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2023

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Ioan’s comment regarding Dr Jonathan Dean is no longer on display in the public domain on your blog. Can you please restore the comment to enable Jonathan and myself to respond. Thanks.


That’s fine Jac. We just need right of reply.

Ioan Richard

Off topic but very topical :-
Offshore Wind Turbines.
A Dr Jonathan Dean has advocated to Wales Government, in a report he personally compiled, that the Irish Sea would be an ‘ideal place’ for locating large numbers of Offshore Wind Turbines. He is apparently also an adviser to CPRW Campaign for Protection of Rural Wales! What a blatant contradiction. Many of us oppose Wind Turbines – full stop – as they are too erratic, without proper back-up, to power the National Grid, or even local Grids, apart from destroying our landscape vistas in Wales. If you check the web site below you will probably realise that Dr Jonathan Dean has committed four huge ‘gaffes’ – (1) nobody I talk to wants them, other than ‘pseudo green fanatics’ like himself; (2) they are too erratic to supply a reliable grid; (3) the Irish Sea is far to remote from the power consumers in the English Midlands and (4) the Irish sea is far too deep for sea floor foundation basing, or even deep anchoring of floating Wind Turbines – check the basic simple web site below and other internet sites for depth map charts of the Irish sea. An old general cargo Merchant Sailor once told me that the Irish Sea can regularly be one of most dangerous shipping areas globally, after the South Atlantic, apart from freak storms that can happen anywhere. Floating Wind Turbines 800 ft tall with 300 ft anchors would quickly become flotsam in the Irish sea – including Cardigan Bay ! Another possible issue with the Irish Sea / Cardigan Bay is its use from Aberporth as a secretive military test centre out at sea. What it does I do not know, but it is something military off Cardigan Bay. The Senedd and Renewable Energy Advocates need to talk to the Admiralty in the Royal Navy and the West Wales Coastguards, and with old Sailors and Trawlermen’ included, as real experienced hands on Engineering Consultants and not with any armchair retired boffin with a PhD.

Irish Sea – Wikipedia

Irish Sea The Irish Sea[a] is an extensive body of deep water that separates the islands of Ireland and Great Britain.

The other alternative location the ‘pseudo green activists’ suggest is what is known as the Celtic Sea – even deeper than the Irish Sea containing vast numbers of active shipping lanes. How can you anchor floating giants to such a wild depth. Check out web sites like the following link :-



Have you drawn your concerns to the attention of Dr Jonathan Dean before placing your comments in the public domain?

Ioan Richard

No, because he wrote to Welsh Government without publicly consulting the people of Wales.


I often write to Welsh Government on various subjects Ioan. I was not aware that there was a requirement to “publicly consult the people of Wales” before doing so. Your clarification would be appreciated. What report – prepared by Dr Jonathan Dean – are you referring to. Are you able to provide us with the report heading and date presented to Welsh Government? Thank you.

Jonathan Dean

Wow, that’s a blast from the past if it’s what I think it is. Thanks for the name check, all publicity is good. This wasn’t submitted to the Welsh Government but the Welsh Affairs Committee in Westminster (in September 2022) as part of their enquiry into nuclear power in Wales. As I’m sure you know, power over the Welsh sea isn’t devolved like in Scotland, so there is little point writing to WG about it. You will find the whole thing on the WAC website as this is just an appendix to support the main argument

I did road test it on several anti onshore wind facebook groups and generally, but not exclusively, I found people favoured offshore over onshore

The idea is not original, and certainly not mine. It is the Crown Estate who leases seabed and they are actively promoting it. It is also central to the U.K. government’s energy policy

I didn’t feel the need to consult the people of Wales as all projects are under the Planning Act 2008 which has a mandatory requirement for public consultation, and justified by National Policy Statement EN-3 which was publicly consulted

As I type the U.K. is being supplied with 25% of its electricity from wind, so the grid seems to be managing somehow. The ESO are also adamant that the grid will be decarbonised by 2035 so if you have any concerns about stability, they are the ones to talk to. I’ve always found them very helpful

The Irish Sea is closer to the Midlands than Wylfa, and Dogger Bank seems to manage getting power ashore somehow. The big advantage of the sea off north Wales is just how shallow it is. If you google “BP Mona and Morgan” you will see those two wind farms will stand in only 35 m of water, despite being 30 km from shore (beyond the horizon)

Cardigan Bay is out of bounds, as a military training area, so I can’t see turbines ever going there

The Celtic Sea is the next big hope. Developers specifically want deep water (over 60 m) in order to develop the technology, as floating wind has enormous export potential. Port Talbot and Milford Haven are the main ports but Holyhead may get a look in, and it is the designated build port for Mona

Its mainly the big oil companies that are chasing floating wind, as they have all the expertise from floating production platforms and drilling rigs

Of course I’m sure you know that fixed base offshore wind is currently the cheapest electricity we have, so Westminster is keen for lots more. Given that Westminster will be allowing lots of offshore wind in Welsh seas, I’m at a total loss as to why the WG is so keen on onshore wind when we clearly don’t need any. This is why I have used the same arguments against eg the Bute Energy’s Twyn Hywel proposal. You will find that on the PEDW site. And will do so again for Y Bryn


Fleeting glimpse of something this morning then went to have a look and it had slipped away. Is Drakeford’s jamming squad attacking your site? or did you withdraw to add more copy ? Anyway back to more matters of concern relating to the surge in underhanded fascism that is out in the open pretending to be nice. In your tweet you quote Stonewall statement :

We imagine a world where all lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning and ace (LGBTQ+) people are free to be ourselves.

They omitted to add ” and all you other hetero and non bender types will have your liberties severely constrained”

Apart from taking orders from this group of deviants SNP/Scots Government also rolled over for the benefit of various apostles of the dodgy green gospels and the host of well connected carpetbaggers that inevitably turn up when any kind of green initiative starts to dish out funds. No wonder Rutherglen gave them a good kicking. Plaid will get the same treatment soon and with so few seats it could face extinction ( without the rebellion). That’s what happens when you allow your attention to be diverted from the core underlying mission.

David Smith

Bit of a random one, but happened across this luminary. Seems Cornish/Devonian Loyals are a ‘thing’ now, for some reason – they’re even appropriating the Ulster Unionist catchphrase, No Surrender!™. Who knew the West Country was such an Orange hotbed!?

David Smith

I can only surmise that the reasons Rangers and Loyalism have become ‘trendy’ in places far removed such as this, are the rise in recent years of the national movements in Wales and Scotland, and the dust kicked up by the Brexit campaign, referendum and subsequent wrangling.

David Smith

I’ll take a look. Loyal to London, that spreader of opportunity far and wide, cos Cardiff gets goodies. The mind boggles.

Swansea Chambermaid

That campaign to get the Assembly to Swansea Guildhall resulted in a marriage for two notables involved. Anyone remember those two yesterday people?

Swansea Chambermaid

I forgot Ron and Christine, but I was thinking a pair closer to the Swansea Guildhall.

David Smith

Jac, I suggest you use your fair-sized platform to do some prodding and agitating, and demand an answer for why HS2 is an ‘EnglandAndWales’ project but not an all-Britain project, funding-wise. Personally I think it’s a naked example of them knowing the SNP, for all their faults, would be on such a designation like stink on shit to gain political capital, unlike Drakeford’s Drizzlers. In other words, the cunts are pissing in our pockets and telling us it’s raining.

David Smith

Why are people so fucking thick and/or inert? HS2 was yet another Great British Project, when a regular relief line for capacity purposes (Beeching and the vandalism therein in mind) would have sufficed. The British State needs to die, it is no longer fit for purpose.


… and the creep Drakeford who places the Union above all else.


Miles off topic but I note that the Albanians and their cousins Kosovars will soon get another boost from NATO who are teeing up to have a go, another go, at Serbia. Serbia is one of the few countries and the only one in the Balkans to be prepared to stand up to the duplicious values of Islamists and their terror machines. Weak local states such as Greece and Croatia just enable riff raff to pass through as no one with a brain cell wants to stop other than for a short holiday. Essentially NATO will take steps to enable more criminals to enter western Europe where they will take up careers in drug manufacture and dealing, trafficking of illegal immigrants, peddling young girls for prostitution and any other crime they think they can get away with. Sunak and his chums are so far removed from the reality that it’s all a big game for them. Nearer home people who know better or should know have embraced concepts like Nation of Sanctuary, human rights, open borders ……. and won’t tolerate anyone who makes a case for sending aid to Serbia.

If Ukraine deserves aid then Serbia needs a hands off stance from the West which is a donation-lite approach. Give them a few months and they will clean up that frontier. Then maybe they might need some reinforcement to stop a bigger power with bad intentions from pouring its resources and Islamofascist ideology into the area.

Hedge Secateur

Out of subject briefly :-The boastful pseudo academic from Morriston is at it again.‘Common sense’ can be dangerous optionSouth Wales Evening Post 2 Oct 2023 Mike Hedges MS
HAVING been accused of not being qualified in science by Mr Haskell, when I proved him wrong, he then accused me of boasting in the letters page of September 26.
The two regular climate change deniers, Mr Haskell and Mr Jenkins, both criticised me on the same letters page. It is dangerous and also wrong to apply “common sense” solutions to science. Some simple examples include Mercury is the nearest planet to the Sun thus should be the hottest, but Venus is. The tops of mountains being nearer to the sun should be warmer, but we know they are not. Light can be described both as a wave and as a particle which is contrary to “common sense”.
The Open University runs excellent science courses and I urge Mr Haskell and Mr Jenkins to try and register for some of the basic courses.
Back to subject – Link Holdings (Gibraltar) Ltd Revisited – now – or Jac will scold us..

Hedge Secateur

Yes I know that he was brought up somewhere by the Copper Works waste tips. That’s why he seems to have no respect for landscape, but he has been adopted by Morriston for decades. Was he a play mate of Kevin Johns? Jac, you were brought up there amongst the good folk but you’ve been in the mountains of the beautiful north for decades. Jac you love Cymru and seek to preserve the landscaped culture whereas Labour want to give Wales away. He is making a silly fool of himself with his petty squabbles with Haskell & Jenkins & Ball. I can see the Senedd’s Labour whips soon telling him to crawl back under a stone and be quiet or concentrate on the economy.
.Back to subject – Link Holdings (Gibraltar) Ltd Revisited – now – or Jac will scold us..


Originally they were bought by the family of J Barron Pascoe who was an estate agent in Mansel Street Swansea about 50 years ago. He bought up freehold reversions from builders and retired to Jersey to live off the rents and the sales of reversions. I don’t think they’ve ever actually built anything themselves. I suspect you will find no leases have been granted by them other than extended leases under the 1967 Act. They’re simply an investment company which years ago realised the long term value of reversions to residential leases. I don’t know whether Link bought them from them or they own Link themselves (I suspect the latter). The council wouldn’t be involved at all other than possibly buying leasehold properties that Link own the reversion to and there’s not much that they could have done about that..


I’m inclined to suspect a mistake, especially as your correspondent bought in 1973 and has been there continuously since. Their lease predated registration in the area by a couple of years and as they still own it, should still not be a registered leasehold title now. There could be several explanations for what has gone wrong so I’m not going to speculate.


As you are aware Jac, I’m monitoring the activities of Mill Bay Homes [MBH]; a subsidiary of the Ateb Group, tasked with building private housing. Land Registry records appear to confirm that one property on their estate at Cilgerran was sold by MBH to its parent company Ateb on 24 October 2019 under freehold tenure in the sum of £164,950 and then resold by Ateb 18 November 2019 under leasehold tenure in the sum of £57,733.

From information available on “Wales Online” a few days ago there appear to be structural issues on their estate at Tenby, following the sudden collapse of a gable end of one property on the estate. I understand investigations are ongoing. Further information in a pdf sent to you by email.


Pardon my twpdra but how can anyone justify that kind of write down on the resale price despite the leasehold tenure ? Was it a 10 year lease or something daft like that ?


In reply to your note Dafis. I have just checked the Land Registry document that I purchased some time ago. It appears to be a 125 year lease agreement. I can forward a copy of the document to Jac – as a pdf – if necessary.


Don’t need sight of documents, thanks for the offer. The duration of that lease makes the transaction even more illogical. You could hardly build a house for £50,000 so it begs so many questions. Who gains from these transactions as the c.£165k valuation on first sale is probably the closest to market value at the time ?