Amble’s growing enterprise and enthusiasm

Posted on 10th June 2011 | in Business News , News

l- r: Malcolm Shield, Colin Harris, John Brown and Kris Burnett

Queen Street is changing again. Amble may give the appearance of a sleepy coastal town but look a little closer and you see that life here is as ever changing as the tides.

Some premises in the town are vacant, but interest is there from new and existing businesses, so it won’t be long before the shutters open and we can look forward to something new. The trend seems to be on food and specialist shops. The spectre of Tesco may be looming, but enterprising locals are still determined to forge a future for themselves in the town.

The Farm Shop has been taken over by the Hewson family, who have plans to reinvigorate the fruit and vegetable shop by offering a better quality of produce and adding to the lines which were previously on offer.

Hilary Hewson told The Ambler: “We were in the trade about 20 years ago, so we’re not complete novices. We’re going to be selling fresh herbs – we even hope to be selling locally grown herbs. If people ask for things, we’ll try to get them.” After she was made redundant, she and her husband Tony and son John saw the opportunity and decided to go for it. “I’m not going to sit and vegetate, when I can fruit and vegetate!” she laughed. “We’re enthusiastic about it. Our customers are great. They’ve been very positive and very kind.”

Another change on the street is Colin Harris Website Development who, together with a Chartered Accountant and a Building Surveyor have taken over what was the Amble Newsagent. Colin saw an opportunity to utilise an empty shop.

 “I wanted to expand my business, to offer a full design and development service to clients; there are not many businesses like mine about. We’re looking to attract companies who have started with some web presence, but perhaps want to do more online, need help with marketing and staying ahead of the competition.” Colin has taken on John Brown, a graphic and web designer from Amble, who is pleased not to have to commute to work any more. “It’s great to be working in Amble” said John.

Malcolm Shield, a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, is offering tax, annual accounts, payroll and bookkeeping services for small and medium sized businesses. “It’s working out really well, I was a neighbour of Colin’s above Coastal Colour, so we were both looking for somewhere to move as that building is going to be refurbished” said Malcolm.

Kris Burnett worked from home for a number of years establishing his business in Architectural Design and Planning. But with a baby on the way, the chance of a space in the new Queen Street premises was too good an opportunity. Kris offers a Plans to Completion service for all domestic and commercial construction, and is particularly keen to forge new relationships with local builders and developers. 

“I feel our new office is a great environment to work in offering a professional front to my business on the main street I’ve been unable to enjoy before.  I look forward to meeting new clients and I’m always able to offer free advice or estimates on any potential home improvements people may be considering.”

“The face of Amble is rapidly changing” said Colin. “I think it’s going to be services rather than traditional shops. People are wondering what could happen to Queen St. when Tescos opens. In my opinion, businesses are going to have to think laterally. There will be a few specialist shops, the rest will be tourism based.”

You can contact Colin on 01665 714433,, Malcolm Shield on 01665 714422 and Kris Burnett on 07746720311 Or you can call in to 18 Queen Street and meet them yourself.

Anna Williams

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