Cake decorating and craft supplier Katy Sue Designs creating 31 new jobs with move to bigger base in South Shields

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

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 5:52 pm
Sue Balfour is CEP of Katy Sue Designs

A planning application was lodged with South Tyneside Council in May 2021 to change the use of two units at the Western Approach Trade Park.

New plans from Katy Sue Designs aimed to reclassify the units for light industrial, manufacturing, office, storage and distribution uses.

The buildings were previously used as a builders merchant and a kitchen and joinery firm, but both are currently vacant.

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Western Approach Trade Park, South Shields

Katy Sue Designs is known as a designer, manufacturer and distributor of craft and cake making / decorating products, based at a unit at Holman Court in South Shields

After approval from council planning chiefs in June, the move to expand and relocate to larger premises is expected to create 31 new jobs.

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

The plans comprise two of the seven units located within the former Be Modern factory, which was developed following planning permission in 2016.

Some of the Katy Sue Designs team after a takeover of Hertfordshire-based Craft Creations in May 2019.

Internal floor plans from the applicant show how the space will be used, with manufacturing areas for silicone moulds and paper craft products, digital printing and paper presses for die cutting and a manufacturing area for laser cutting of woods and plastics.

The building will also house a small video studio, a warehouse space for storage and dispatch, a staff canteen and further offices, staff facilities and a boardroom.

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

Under planning conditions, work to convert the units must be brought forward within the next three years.

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

After 12 years of success, the business was renamed Katy Sue Designs Ltd and expanded its offer by manufacturing and designing market-leading craft products.

In late-2012, the firm started to create a range of food safe silicone moulds for the decorating market which are now sold in more than 40 countries.

For more information on the business visit:

Details on the planning application can also be found by visiting South Tyneside Council’s planning portal and searching reference: ST/0542/21/FUL

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