A fireplace company that has won numerous awards for both design and its unique technology is burning even brighter thanks to a six-figure investment to support a management buyout.
The management team at CVO Fire, based on Aycliffe Business Park, is now headed by directors Paul Stocks and Michelle Bailey, who have both been with the company for a number of years.
CVO Fire, which also uses the brand name Spirit Fires, is now embarking on ambitious plans to grow its customer base, workforce and showroom network.
The unique burner technology it developed and patented allows customers to have a gas fire without needing a chimney or a catalytic convertor.
The range of products includes contemporary fireplaces, hole-in-the-wall, ribbon, outdoor and free-standing fires as well as gas fire bowls, traditional fireplaces and industrial heaters.
Designed with energy efficiency always in mind, every fire is hand-built at Newton Aycliffe where the company also has a showroom.
Costing from £500 right up to £30,000, its products have brought CVO Fire attention from television programmes such as Grand Designs and national media accolades that include “seriously sexy fires” and “the Prada or Armani of the fireplace industry”.
Customers include celebrities, architects and designers working on luxury homes, hotels and offices in the UK, Europe and the USA. They include the Gleneagles Hotel, Marriott and Hilton hotels, Banyan Tree Resorts and Newcastle’s £2m TupTup nightclub.
The UK Steel Enterprise investment came from the Tata Steel business support-subsidiary’s Equity Growth Scheme, backed by the government’s Regional Growth Fund.
“Our buy-out and expansion plans would have been very difficult to achieve without this investment and backing from UK Steel Enterprise,” said Paul Stocks.
“We looked at a number of funding sources but UKSE was the best option for us.
“We are already creating at least two additional sales posts early in the New Year and expect additional production and other jobs to follow.
“We have a really committed production team here and they are currently working flat-out to complete pre-Christmas orders. Our order book is also looking very healthy well into 2017.”
Michelle added: “We are planning to develop our network of UK dealers and our European market and open two more of our own FireVault showrooms in London and the Midlands.”
Sarah Thorpe, of investor UK Steel Enterprise, said: “We were introduced to the company by Sam Condren of accountants Barkley Jonson and have also been working alongside the company’s other advisers Angus Allan at Clive Owen & Co and Nik Tunley of Endeavour Partnership.
“It has been another example of successful teamwork that has resulted in a business with real potential getting the support and investment it needs to exploit its opportunities and create valuable jobs.”
• Pictured (above, left-to-right) is Sam Condren of accountants Barkley Jonson, Michelle Bailey and Paul Stocks of CVO Fire and Sarah Thorpe of investor UK Steel Enterprise.