A LEADING Cumbrian stonecraft company has entered into a new collaboration with one of the UK’s most upmarket and prestigious department stores.

Coniston Stonecraft, taken over by Carlisle businessman Brendan Donnelly in February 2020, has gone from strength to strength since then, quickly winning In Cumbria Best New Business 2021.

Their uniquely crafted products have now caught the eye of Fortnum and Mason, who have just placed their first order of Coniston Stone.

Coniston Stonecraft uses local stone from quarries in Cumbria rather than importing it from halfway around the world.

The company uses water from nearby streams to cool the machines and rather than oil uses hydroelectric power from the station just 75 metres away on Church Beck before packing the beautiful slate pieces in recycled cloth and cardboard.

READ MORE: Made of stone: Best new business in Cumbria goes to Coniston

This is all part of the company’s ethos, and occasionally, buyers notice.

And so when the buyers at Fortnum and Mason were looking for new British products to put into their British collection they noticed Coniston Stonecraft and got in touch.

This was because as, they said, they wanted ethically produced products that are anchored in the UK, not just designed in or finished in the UK,  but ‘properly 100 per cent British’.

Coniston Stonecraft has been asked to provide rolling pins and pastry boards made specially to Fortnum and Mason designs and were included in their Made in the UK collection showcase just in time for the Christmas season.

Laura Whitworth, Coniston Stonecrafts admin manager, said: "We found Fortnum and Mason’s buyers really good to deal with - they knew what they wanted and why, and they were honest and straightforward.

"We realised that we both needed to make a margin so we agreed on terms in minutes - not months.

"As the relationship has aged Fortnum and masons have found out more about us and loved the ethos of our Cumbrian quarried slate and eco-craft production."

Brendan Donnelly, Coniston Stonecrafts' managing director, said: "We feel that this is a superb fit for both of us and will hopefully introduce our beautiful Cumbrian slate products to a new differently heeled market."