A furniture maker has been recognised as one of the outstanding young craftsmen of his generation and is urging other solo and small businesses to make the most of help on their doorstep.

Tom Addison,34, has built up his Fine Furniture business with the help of grants and guidance from the York and North Yorkshire Growth Hub. From his studio near Askrigg, Tom makes and designs furniture which has won acclaim across the industry.

He was recently honoured as one of The Furniture Makers’ Company top 60 for their 60th anniversary recognising outstanding young individuals in the UK furniture and furnishing industry. Tom says his journey to success has been significantly shaped by the support he received through the Growth Hub and Nick White, a business relationship manager.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Fine Furniture maker Tom Addison

Nick said: "Tom came as a referral to the Richmondshire Small Business Grant. Online discussions led to helping Tom produce an application to the fund."

Tom added: "I've received a lot of support through the Growth Hub, with signposts to funding and potential grants. I secured the start-up grant from Richmondshire District Council, amounting to £1,000, which I used towards a bandsaw. This has significantly improved what I'm able to do. It has allowed me to take on a broader range of jobs and produce intricate curved work."

Beyond the funding, Tom said digital marketing training had been invaluable. "The Hub has contributed to the growth of my business by providing me with the skills to promote my business online. I've created short videos, some of which have gone viral, and my audience has grown tenfold into thousands of followers," he added.

Nick said Tom is typical of a small business in a rural area and a good example for others working from home but seeking a market outside their local area. Tom is urging others to take advantage of what the hub can do.

He said: "It mentors in the early stages, providing ongoing support, a reliable point of contact for queries. Their experience and contacts can point you in the right direction. It is a fantastic springboard for young businesses."

He sees his business going from strength to strength building on existing commissions, creating unique pieces, and expanding his product range.

More information on the York and North Yorkshire Growth Hub, which is coordinated through York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership is at ynygrowthhub.com.