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Firm fired up for growth.

Byline: Louise Davies

A FIRM in Wirral that makes unique smoke free domestic fires has received a pounds 50,000 cash boost from Merseyside SpecialInvestment Fund ( MSIF).

Lifestyle Fire and Flame, trading as Gelfire, was set up by entrepreneurs Andy Hirst and Noel Kinsella two years ago.

The company produces a range of decorative flame products for the home including fire bowls, table displays, lamps and torches for indoor and outdoor use. The fires are powered by a unique smoke free organic gel which, when lit, produce no harmful emissions, soot or smoke. Andy Hirst, managing director of Gelfire, said: ``The unique ambience and lighting effects produced by an indoor flame can transform any home,and, because our organic gels don't emit smoke, people living in apartments without chimneys or flues can alsobenefit.''

Tens taffareemployed at the moment and it is envisaged that,over the next five years, this figure will rise to 50. The cash investment, part of a package tot alling pounds 170,000, will be used to fund further product development and marketing costs. Sales a reexpected to reach pounds 1m in the first year of trading.

Alan Birkett, investment manager of MSIF's SmallFirms Fund said: ``Gelfire is an exciting business run by an experienced management team. The products are innovative and unique and we expect the business to do well.''

The products a recurrently sold viamailorder and negotiations are in place with a number of international r etailgiants.

Already the products have featured widely in consumer magazines and on a number of national TV shows including Changing Rooms and Grand Designs.


FLAMES OF ENTHUSIASM: Alan Birkett of MSIF,left, with Andy Hirst MD of Gelfire
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Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 2, 2003
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