Bg Oh Coll Pottery Alan And Stella In The Workshop Crop
Case Studies

Family revives pottery’s fortunes

Securing funding has enabled a family of artists to turn a derelict pottery in the Outer Hebrides into a going concern.

About the business

A family of local artists has breathed new life into one of the most famous potteries on the Outer Hebrides, with support from Business Gateway. Coll Pottery on Lewis had lain derelict for 10 years before the Whittles decided to relocate from South Uist and repurpose the space for their own use.

The owners, husband and wife Alan and Stella, and two of their children – Aidan (a blacksmith) and Angharad (a jeweller) – use the workshop to produce ceramics, glass suncatchers, jewellery and more. They’ve also added two galleries, a commercial kitchen and a coffee shop to attract visitors.

Business Gateway’s advice and support with our funding applications was invaluable. They also helped us access one-to-one support from a digital expert through DigitalBoost.

How Business Gateway has helped

Coll Pottery required major investment before the Whittles could reopen its doors. Business Gateway Outer Hebrides helped the family to secure £20,000 from the Grants for Growth scheme, plus £10,000 from the Revolving Loan Fund. They invested this, along with personal savings, into the first phase of remodelling the property.

“Business Gateway’s advice and support with our funding applications was invaluable,” says Stella. “They also helped us access one-to-one support from a digital expert through the DigitalBoost programme, which has dragged me into the digital age.

“If Business Gateway hadn’t helped us we wouldn’t still be living in the Outer Hebrides and Coll Pottery would still be falling down.”

Business Gateway support

One-to-one advice

Routes to funding

What’s next?

The family sees great potential in the business. Eventually, the Whittles plan to rent out workshop space at Coll Pottery to other artists and run art and craft seminars to generate additional income.

Growing the business will help to re-establish the pottery’s name in the art world and could eventually lead to the creation of new jobs on the island.

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