ANOTHER year, another new dawn at Poole Pottery.

But while the town is crying out for its cherished business to thrive, it would not be surprising if some were sceptical about the latest buyers.

After all, the pottery has been through a rough time since the turn of the 21st century, dicing with administration and accruing debts of more than £1 million.

The latest to take a turn at the pottery wheel is Hertfordshire-based homeware company Lifestyle.

But it starts with a clean slate and managing director Peter Bello insists his company is aware of the gravity of its new acquisition.

"We are aware of the huge importance the area attaches to Poole Pottery," said Mr Bello.

"I'm also aware people will be saying here we go again, another person telling us everything is going to be all right'.

"I'm not making false promises but I'm very optimistic of how we can get the brand up, running and profitable."

Mr Bello has certainly pulled no punches with his opening gambits.

He has admitted not all the staff will be re-employed, and parts of the manufacturing process will also be lost to the town for the first time.

A studio pottery is planned on a new site as Lifestyle downsizes from the Sopers Lane factory, though the Quayside retail store will remain.

So will openness prove to be the best policy with the legacy of past problems weighing heavy on the new owners?

"We need to be realistic about what is economic to make this business profitable," said Mr Bello.

"There were 100 people employed at the factory, it was 51,000 square feet and turning over about £2.8 million.

"Anybody will tell you that was uneconomic and it was one of the main reasons the company failed.

"We believe the concept of a studio pottery is very important. There's no way I'm suggesting a 51,000 square foot unit is going to reappear - it couldn't.

"But the important thing is to maintain the essence of the brand and ensure there is production in Poole."

Mr Bello, 49, founded Lifestyle in 1990 after stints with Marks & Spencer, as a director of a buying office in Hong Kong, and in the fashion industry.

The company now owns four of its own Top Table stores, as well as having a presence in 27 other shops in the UK.

It purchased another struggling ceramics company, Stoke-based Royal Stafford, at the same time as Poole Pottery.

Mr Bello believes that, after a deflation in the homeware industry, people are now looking for a return to value - fewer products, better quality.

"We've got the ingredients in place to move the business forward," said Mr Bello.

"I'm very confident that we can make this business profitable and be part of the Poole community as well."