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Spire Pottery founders Nat Quinn and Alan Dunnighan.
Jane Imrie

Pottery business shapes ambitions with launch of new North East studio

A pottery-loving duo have turned their hands to entrepreneurship with the launch of a new North East studio.

Potters Alan Dunnighan and Nat Quinn have launched Spire Pottery at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC).

Alan met pottery teacher Nat five years ago when he took up a college course after being inspired by the BBC TV programme The Great Pottery Throw Down.

Alan, who will continue his job in IT while running Spire Pottery at night and weekends with full time artist Nat, commented: “We are new to running a business so it’s great to have the team by our side to point us in the right direction. That is one of the big pluses of being based here.

“We viewed so many other locations before stumbling across the BIC. Everything was either in the wrong location or too expensive. We saw lots of brick buildings with roller shutters and although they were reasonably priced you had overheads on top.

“As soon as we saw our lovely unit at the BIC we were sold! We even have an eye on a bigger unit on the park for the future. It’s good to know it’s easy to grow here without even changing your address.”

Donna Surtees, centre manager at the BIC, added: “Spire Pottery is an example of the diverse range of new businesses that have opened up on our site over the past 12 months, bringing a great new buzz to the place.

“The fact that we can work with tenants to accommodate everything from a kiln and pottery wheels to gym equipment, bakery ovens and scientific labs demonstrates the flexibility of the units we have onsite and our ongoing efforts to support the needs of the business community.”

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