‘We always had ambitions of working for ourselves’ - Sunderland pair launch new business in the city

A pair of façade draughtsman are mining more than half a century of experience and fronting-up an exciting new business.

By Kevin Clark
Monday, 06 May, 2019, 06:00
Colin Marshall and Steve Henderson

With over 50 years’ experience of façade design – Colin Marshall and Steve Henderson have launched Atomic Design and Consulting Ltd, after taking up office space at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC).

The duo first met as apprentices more than 25 years ago before going their separate ways and then linking up again in previous roles at one of the region’s leading façade companies.

“We always had ambitions of working for ourselves however it wasn’t until our previous employer ran into difficulty that we were given the push we needed,” said Steve.

“It’s a huge risk setting up a business and with both of us having families to support, it would always have been hard to quit our jobs and set up on our own.

“But, once we were made aware that we were going to be made redundant, it was a no-brainer.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Colin added: “Neither of us wanted to work for another company and we had both spoken previously about our desire to work for ourselves, so it made sense for us to go into business together.

“Combined, we have over 50 years’ experience in the industry and we’ve both accumulated lots of contacts throughout this period, so it made perfect sense.”

Having been made redundant just after Christmas, the pair began seeking suitable office space after the holidays and looked at a number of city sites before settling at the BIC.

It is only months since the company officially launched, but Atomic has already landed two major deals with one of the UK’s largest façade companies.

This includes designing a £2million façade, which they’re currently working on, and a £4.2million project beginning soon after.

“The phone hasn’t stopped ringing since we set up,” Colin added. “We couldn’t be happier with how it has gone so far.”