A Blackpool toy company which specialises in personalised cuddly pals for children is set for expansion.
Cubbies of Lytham Road is preparing to launch a new range thanks to help from university business experts.
The company was founded by Lee White from Marton who returned to the resort after years of working abroad.
Lee had been working for a toy company in Toronto and came up with the idea for cuddly toys which can be embroidered to make them special for children.
He said: “I left Blackpool in 2003 to work on the cruise ships and then ended up in Canada and also in New York. It was there that I got my entrepreneurial spirit.
“They have a different attitude to wealth creation and business over there that I would not have got had I stayed in Blackpool.
“I came back and started the company in 2012 and it was two years before we started to see any money. We became a limited company in October 2013 and we now have nine employees and are recruiting more now.”
Cubbiesis working on a new product range, following support from the UCLan Innovation Clinic, a part of Boost Business Lancashire.
They have designed and developed a selection of animal-themed backpacks complete with a face, arms and legs which, like the stuffed toys, can be personalised.
Lee added: “The Innovation Clinic has been very supportive. Together we came up with the concept and how it might look. They also developed CAD images and pattern design and have supported me to produce a prototype at UCLan which I am now using to show factories for production, I am just finalising the updated designs and we hope to launch the range by the end of the year.”