South Shields Crafts and Cake Decorating Supplier to Move to New Headquarters


An award-winning craft supplier and cake decorating products company has won an offer to move to a new base in South Shields, creating dozens of jobs.

Earlier in May, a planning application was filed with the South Tyneside Council to change the use of two units at the Western Approach Business Park.

The buildings were previously used as a building merchant and a kitchen and carpentry business, but both are currently vacant.

Katy Sue Designs’ new plans were to reclassify units for light industrial, manufacturing, office, storage and distribution purposes.

The company is known as a designer, manufacturer and distributor of crafts and baking / decorating products and is already based in a unit at Holman Court in South Shields.

Following the approval of council planning chiefs this month, the decision to expand and move to larger premises is expected to create new jobs.

According to a business development request, 31 full-time employees are offered.

South Tyneside Council approved the planning request on June 25, 2021.

The plans include two of the seven units located in the former Be Modern factory, which was developed following a building permit in 2016.

The applicant’s internal floor plans show how the space will be used, with manufacturing areas for silicone molds and paper crafts, digital printing and paper presses for die-cutting and a manufacturing area for laser cutting of wood and plastic.

The building will also house a small video studio, warehouse for storage and shipping, a staff canteen and other offices, staff quarters and a meeting room.

In a decision report, council planners concluded the request was acceptable in terms of land use, parking and impacts on nearby residents.

Under urban planning conditions, the conversion works of housing should be advanced within three years.

Katy Sue Designs was founded in 1994 as Katy Sue Dolls by Doreen Thompson and her daughter Sue Balfour, and specializes in making miniature porcelain dolls for collectors.

After 12 years of success, the company was renamed Katy Sue Designs Ltd and expanded its offering by manufacturing and designing market leading handcrafted products.

At the end of 2012, the company started to create a range of food-grade silicone molds for the decoration market which are now sold in more than 40 countries.

Details on the planning request can also be found by visiting South Tyneside Council Planning Portal and research reference: ST / 0542/21 / FUL.

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