We exist to evolve through brush innovation


To be the biggest UK manufacturer for Custom Brush Solutions


We collaborate using our many years of experience and knowledge to create long lasting relationships


We exist to evolve through brush innovation


Do Right

One Team

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Our Story

Established in 1858, Cottam Brush Ltd has grown from a small workshop in Samuel Cottam’s Sunderland home, to one of the world’s foremost designers and manufacturers of trade, industrial and specialist brushes. Family-run for six generations, Cottam Brush is a product of the North East’s industrial heartlands. With our historic connection to the shipyards, docks, foundries and mines of the region, we’ve supplied local businesses, artisans and industries for more than 160 years. Starting by hand-making brushes for businesses in both the local area and across the country, our journey closely mirrors that of the people, city and country of which we’re a proud part.

Whether it’s our pioneering designs for the defence sector, products that clean subsea pipelines or brushes used to remove debris from gear cogs during the production of jet engines, we deliver on projects that demand ingenuity, precision and a faultless finish. From our home in the North East, we supply some of the world’s most prestigious companies with the precision-engineered custom brushes they need to get the job done. For six generations of Cottams, we’ve always striven for excellence. We aim to continue doing so for many generations to come.

Meet the team


Alan Crook

Managing Director

I’m Alan Crook and I became Managing Director of Cottam Brush in March 2022 having started in the business in August 2001 as Manufacturing Manager. Previously, I’ve worked in the engineering industry, starting as an apprentice in 1978 and progressing through various roles at 3 different companies.  I’m married with 3 daughters and 4 fantastic grandchildren which means I don’t have a lot of time to do many other things other than watching a bit of football every other week down at the Stadium of Light with my dad.


Susan Stewart

Sales Manager

Hi, my name is Sue and I’m the Sales Manager for Cottam Brush. I love my job and being immersed in the ‘world of brushes’. The best part is building relationships with customers and learning about the many uses for our brush solutions and the industries they serve. I am part of the Leadership team, so I help with business planning, as well as mentoring our team to improve processes and drive change through our business. We have a great team here, that I am very proud to be a part of. In my spare time I enjoy walking, mountain biking, cooking, travelling, and spending time with my family.


Nick Palfreyman

Head of Product and E-Commerce

Hello, my name is Nick and I love products and design. From creating new ones to re-packaging existing – I find working in the whole product lifecycle a fantastic place to be. Here at Cottam my role as Head of Product and Ecommerce allows me to fulfil this passion with all manor of ‘brushy’ products! Outside of products & ecommerce you will find me on the riverbank, by the lake or next to the sea perusing my angling ‘career’! 😊 Safe to say my role at Cottam puts food on the table for my young family & dogs.

Head Shots

Eddie Moon

Process Engineer

I’m Eddie, and I am the Process Engineer at Cottam. I’ve worked for Cottam Brush for over 40 years, so I’ve spent my career in brush making. I help customers with their custom brush enquiries and orders, as well as working in the warehouse making brushes. I enjoy the creative process of seeing a brush come together – using my skills on products that will be used across a range of industries. 


Chelsie Brown

Marketing Manager

My name is Chelsie and I am the Marketing Manager here at Cottam. I was employed in October 2022 to review existing marketing activities and create a strategy to help support the businesses growth plans, and quickly came to realise, there really is a brush for everything. I graduated from Northumbrian University in 2014 with a Business with Marketing degree and after a year travelling in Australia, stepped into the world of marketing.

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Nancy Li

General Manager

My name is Nancy Li and I am the General Manager of Cottam’s China operations. I have worked for Cottam for nearly 10 years and my responsibility is overseeing our China branch, maintaining good relationships with our Chinese supplier base and making sure that our products are delivered to the UK on time and in good quality. I am proud to be part of the Cottam team and enjoy my work. In my spare time, I like travelling, reading books, listening to music and spending time with my family. 

Head Shots

Ada Lin

Sourcing Manager

Hi, I am Ada Lin, the Sourcing Manager of Cottam ‘s China operations. I have been working for Cottam since 2012. My main responsibilities are sourcing the best suppliers in China to make our products and manage that ongoing relationship. I follow up on orders we have placed and visit our suppliers, performing inspections, as well as organising shipping to the UK. In my spare time I enjoy cycling, travelling and reading books.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Cottam commits to:  

• Encourage equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace as they are good practice and make business sense. 

• Create a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, and where individual differences and the contributions of all staff are recognised and valued.