Tom’s upholstery venture is tailor-made for travel

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When it comes to upholstery for classic cars, boats and even planes, one local business has it covered.

Carnbrae is one of the area’s most unusual businesses, producing bespoke luxury interiors from premises in Morecambe.

Tom Ritson established Carnbrae 18 months ago after a career which included time in the RAF and working with horses abroad.

On returning home to Brampton in Cumbria, he turned to tailoring and was apprenticed to English Cut whose clients included iPhone designer Sir Jonathan Ive who Tom met twice in New York and San Francisco.

Some of Tom’s tailoring skills were useful when he joined his brother’s business on White Lund – Morecambe and Wize – which specialises in classic VW camper vans.

He worked on the upholstery and then decided to go it alone. Tom began operating from one shop in Lancashire Street, which he rented from Alhambra owner Ian Bond, and now has two with plans to move to three premises in the New Year.

“People who are starting out in business need places at a reasonable rent and supportive landlords like Ian.” said Tom.

He has knocked the two shops through to create a larger workspace and plans to do the same with the third shop so eventually, the whole production process through to delivery can happen in one place.

And because Carnbrae is in the West End of Morecambe, Tom applied for an enterprise grant from West End Million, the organisation awarded £1m of National Lottery money to invest in improving the area over 10 years.

Supporting businesses is one of West End Million’s key priorities and they granted £1,955 to Carnbrae so Tom could buy sewing machines and refurbish his shop exteriors.