Dorian Payne

Meet Dorian Payne, Coleg Gwent Alumni

27 October 2023

“I would recommend anybody considering studying accountancy at Coleg Gwent to do it”

Meet Dorian Payne, a 27-year-old accountancy alumnus of Coleg Gwent. He is the driving force behind Castell Group, a property development company with a mission.

We sat down with Dorian to talk about his upbringing, his entrepreneurial spirit, and his experience at Coleg Gwent.

“Growing up, I had a real knack for working with numbers”

Dorian grew up in Newport, St Julians, where his family worked as general labourers. One of his earliest memories was of a house refurbishment. In his school life, Dorian displayed entrepreneurial skills that saw him venture into multiple businesses from buying and selling motorbikes, many boot sales and even teaching himself to import from China.

After exploring various industries, he soon found that his passion lay within property, and launched his letting agency business, Castell Group.

Looking to take his skills to the next level, Dorian discovered that the most common background for highly successful CEOs was accountancy.

“So I did some research and I found that Coleg Gwent actually had a course called AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) and that’s what got me to enrol onto the course at Coleg Gwent”

When Dorian started studying at Coleg Gwent, he already had an established letting agency that he had set up when he was 16. While juggling college and business, Dorian recounts really loving the course and enjoying the experience and guidance from his lecturers.

“I remember one of my lecturers, Caroline Carr sat down with me and gave me some really good wisdom and encouraged me in the business, commenting on how excellent it was but also highlighting the value of education and the importance of understanding the full accounts process and how that would benefit my business in the future.”

Dorian Payne at college

Throughout his course, Dorian focused on his studies, learning how he could implement what he was learning in real life. He joined the UK World Skills Competition; a national competition that provides opportunities for skill development and industry recognition. Dorian and his Coleg Gwent team made it as a finalist and looking back on it recalls just how important these events were to him during his time studying.

“Exposure to to events like that really helps you in your confidence and being able to work under pressure and blend all that theory into practice.”

“I would recommend anybody considering studying accountancy at Coleg Gwent to do it.”

Dorian successfully graduated from Coleg Gwent with an AAT Level 4, enabling him to progress onto ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) at the University of South Wales. During this time Dorian expanded his business into a commercial and residential finance brokerage, working with investors, and raising hundreds of thousands of pounds.

“They were always impressed by my number skills and the way I was able to present and articulate numbers and really understand the meaning of how a deal appraisal works.”

Castell Group currently generates a monthly turnover between 1 to 1.5 million a month, and that’s set to grow. The company has secured land bank of over 600 homes, and over £120 million of projects, indicating a bright future.

Dorian is proud that Castell Group are building social housing, investing back into local communities and making a difference in the lives of those in need.

Dorian Payne in a hi vis jacket

I would recommend anybody considering studying accountancy at Coleg Gwent to do it because when I look back on my memory, it was excellent. My lecturers were fantastic. They really encouraged me and supported me. I met some great people in my course that I’m still speaking to over ten years on. But most importantly, aside from the actual technical knowledge I’ve learned from that, it gave me the confidence to really excel in my business and my career path of choosing and instil confidence into other people that I know what I’m doing.

Dorian Top 4 Key Aspects of Business

Dorian was also kind enough to share with us some top insight into key aspects of business, from strategy, team, business execution and finances.

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