A company which launched five years ago is celebrating hitting turnover of £300,000 and appointing its first franchisee.
Spennymoor-based Shutter Up Systems offers a patented window and door protection system, which uses specialist suction pads and polycarbonate sheets.
Inventor Jim Taylor had the idea after seeing how traditional metal shutters were affecting neighbourhoods and were being stolen for the mental content.
He said: “Neighbourhoods with homes that have traditional metal shutters, not only look awful but attract more crime.
“I also thought the system looked archaic and ugly, so decided to invent a more modern robust method.”
The company, which employs 10 manufacturing staff, has steadily grown its customer base and now services clients across the UK.
However, the long-term plan is to expand the business by franchising and the company have just appointed their first franchisee in Northern Ireland.
Taylor said: “We’ve had a really good response to our adverts for franchisees with more than 30 applications.
“We’re going through the interview process and expect to convert this to an additional three to four franchisees up and running by the summer.”
Clients include landlords, estate agents, local councils, property developers, demolition firms and Northumbria Police.