30-year-old charity that trained film actors removed from register

15 May 2024 News

Charity Commission building and logo

Civil Society Media

An acting charity that trained film stars including Eddie Marsan has been deregistered following an investigation.

Last year, the Charity Commission opened a statutory inquiry into the Kogan Academy of Dramatic Arts, after it did not comply with an official warning over its failure to submit financial accounts for several years.

The Commission’s inquiry determined that the charity no longer operates and removed it from its register on 18 December last year.

Banned trustee removed

It found that a trustee had been acting whilst subject to an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA), an agreement with creditors to repay debts, which meant they were disqualified from holding the position.

The trustee subsequently resigned and was removed from the register of charities.

Published this week, the inquiry report does not name the trustee. Alex Dower was the only board member named on the Commission’s website when its investigation was launched.

Dower is also listed as a director of the charity on Companies House, alongside fellow actor Nick Cawdron.

The inquiry found that the charity had been operating with fewer than three trustees, the minimum number stated in its governing document, since January 2020 and had made no attempt to recruit more.

It said this failure to comply with the requirements of the governing document was misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of the charity.

Future of organisation

Originally named the School of the Science of Acting – London, the charity was set up in 1992 by late Ukrainian acting teacher Sam Kogan.

The inquiry found that the charity had limited financial activity and was no longer teaching or recruiting students.

Its lease on its last registered business address expired in 2022, the inquiry found, after which the charity had no premises from which to operate.

Two compulsory strike off notices have been issued to the organisation on Companies House in recent years but action was discontinued both times and it remains on the register.

Money owed

The charity’s last filed accounts for the year to July 2019 show an income of £191,000 and expenditure of £328,000 with eight full-time equivalent employees.

In the documents, which were filed in 2022, an independent examiner raised “matters of concern” due to the charity owing over £250,000. 

The examiner, accountant Asim Manzoor, said that he did not receive sufficient records for payments during the year. 

“We have relied on bank records to produce the accounts and are unable to determine balances owed as at 31 July 2019 with any certainty”, the report said. 

Manzoor wrote that the accountants were “unable to agree on payments made to the head of school of £50,015”. 

They said that the charity owed £197,000 on 1 February 2022 due to its operating lease for its current premises. Loans owed to HSBC at its year-end amounted to £73,000. 

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