Mugging up on tourist spots

Some of the region's top tourist attractions are stocking up on an eye-catching range of collectable gifts produced by a new social enterprise start-up.

Some of the region's top tourist attractions are stocking up on an eye-catching range of collectable gifts produced by a new social enterprise start-up.

Dinamic Ceramic has set up its factory producing high- quality products for the tourism sector with the help of MAS North-East.

Under guidance from Northumberland County Council Development team and the Northumberland Care Trust, the company provides employment for people currently reliant on incapacity benefit.

Producing thimbles, mugs, coasters and kitchen hotplates branded with North-Eastern imagery and own brand designs, by the end of its first year the business aims is to provide five full-time jobs for people currently unable to enter the labour market.

The company began trading in June this year and already counts Durham Cathedral, Alnwick Castle, Tyne & Wear Museums, the Woodhorn Centre and the region's tourist information centres among its clients.

Project co-ordinator and entrepreneur Garry Dawson has set up a number of successful businesses, but aims to make Dinamic Ceramic an enterprise giving greater support to its local community.

He said: "A social enterprise like any business exists to make a profit, but our aim is to re-invest what we can in the growth of the business and the surrounding community.

"One of the best ways we can do this is to provide employment for those unable to reach the forefront of the job market. MAS has helped us get this facility up and running in under nine months and provided crucial help with shop floor layout, our manufacturing processes and in sourcing reliable local suppliers.

"We will continue to work with MAS specialists as the business grows and we move from our incubator facility to a larger unit where we hope to begin producing our own pottery."

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