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‘Inspirational’ Poetic License MD Mark Hird dies

“True inspiration” Mark Hird, the managing director of Poetic License Distillery, has died from cancer aged 47.

“True inspiration”: Mark Hird

Hird, who was also co-founder and managing director of Tavistock Hospitality and managing director of Sonnet 43 Brewhouse, died on Tuesday 3 December.

He has been described as an “energetic man and leader, forever driving innovation and new ideas” and a “pioneer of the catering industry”.

Jonathan Graham, operations director of the Tavistock Group, said: “I am deeply saddened to announce the passing of Mark; he was a true inspiration.

“I have lost a best friend of 30 years and the world has lost a wonderful man.”

After graduating in 1994, Hird worked in various restaurants before opening his own eatery in 2000, the award-winning 11 Tavistock Place, with his wife, Nicola Hird.

The following 19 years would see the couple open and renovate more than 30 properties in the north east of England under a series of different brands, including Tavistock Italia, Sonnet 43 Gastro Pubs, Tavistock Thai China, Italian Farmhouse and the Roker Hotel.

The entrepreneur also set up a microbrewery in early 2015 to make his own beer, which turned into S43 Brewery (formerly Sonnet 43). The brewery is currently experiencing “fantastic growth”.

Hird also developed Sunderland-based Poetic License Distillery in 2015, which has created products including the “first” strawberries and cream-flavoured gin, and a tutti frutti-flavoured expression.

Hird is survived by his wife Nicola and three children.

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