New Washington firm is cut out for success

Coun Harry Trueman, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council, with Paul Stott, owner of Lasercutouts.
Coun Harry Trueman, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council, with Paul Stott, owner of Lasercutouts.
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Paul Stott is cut out for business success after turning his hobby into a new business.

Lasercutouts designs and produces a large selection of precision shapes, quotes and letters for crafters while its business-to-business work in areas such as display and signage, promotional branding and prototyping is growing quickly with the help of its own in-house design services.

Lasercutouts is a great example of a business that started small and is now poised to flourish.

Coun Paul Watson, council leader

Based on the Crowther Industrial Estate in Washington, the firm is creating new jobs to meet the demands of its direct sales through its website and shop and growing business from other businesses.

The company is now expanding from its current three members of staff and aiming to create two new jobs and an apprenticeship as it prepares for the Christmas rush - which for Lasercutouts begins in June.

Former local authority IT network manager Paul started Lasercutouts as a hobby and sold his products at craft fairs. He took the decision to leave his job at Gateshead Council three years ago during the downturn and start a full-time business.

Initially based in his garage in Washington, the business moved into a small unit in Southwick and then to the larger premises he now occupies at the Crowther Industrial Estate, where it has space to expand.

“The Crowther Industrial Estate is known as a crafting estate and our core business is providing the crafters’ market with shapes, quotes and bespoke designed pieces which they then embellish and sell through their own outlets,” he said.

“We are now in a manufacturing unit five times larger than our original Southwick premises. It also benefits from a retail space, which has given us a public face and additional passing trade.

“Our growth here at Crowther has been considerable.”

Paul invested his own money in the company’s initial start-up equipment but Lasercutouts has also worked closely with the business investment team at Sunderland City Council. In addition to advice on growth, the company was supported by the City Council in its search for new equipment and larger premises.

Sunderland City Council leader, Councillor Paul Watson, said: “Lasercutouts is a great example of a business that started small and is now poised to flourish.

“We are pleased to support the company’s ambitions and are looking forward to seeing Lasercutouts flourish in its new premises. It is great news the firm is creating jobs for Sunderland, and bringing in business which will benefit the wider economy.

“Our business investment team is always ready to speak to new and existing businesses that are looking to locate themselves in Sunderland, as well as ambitious companies already based here that we can help to expand and meet their potential.”