Buzz over new product attracts Channel 4

The former owner of a maintenance company in Dalton, near Skelmersdale, will be the star of a Channel 4 show after his company created a brand new product, the Hive Haus.

Barry Jackson has created a unique “flat pack” style house that is cheap, modern and quick to assemble. The product will be manufactured through his new company, Ipothosis.

When approached, Channel 4 were so impressed with the design that they have made it the focus of an episode of George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, filmed on location at Barry’s family home.

The TV show looks at how people can turn tiny spaces into incredible places to live, work or play and the Hive Haus will be featured on October 31.

Hive Haus buildings are made up of rooms in a honeycomb shape, which means they can slot together in different ways. Rooms can be made and paid for individually, so that the property can be as big or as small as required, and a standard building with all necessary rooms can be set up within a working day.

Barry had his Eureka moment when he broke his ankle and had to take four months sick leave.

Barry said: “I was watching a TV show about bees making honeycomb structures and thought ‘that’s something no one has done before’. The time off gave me an opportunity to really think the idea through and make it a reality. Because the Hive Haus is cheap and easy to assemble, we think there is a wide market range– from buildings on holiday sites, onsite cabins, and export.”

Ipothosis received free support from local economic development company Regenerate Pennine Lancashire to develop the Hive Haus, through a programme supported by the European Regional Development Fund. Their business advisors advised on patenting and introduced Barry to an expert on Commercialising and Licencing so he can make the most of the appearance on national television.

“We received a lot of local support from Regenerate’s business advisors. They have a lot of experience with new product development, so it was useful to call for advice when needed. For example, they introduced us to a patent attorney to ensure the product and its branding is protected. It’s good to know this kind of help is available when you need it.”

Regenerate provide free support, workshops and funding to new and existing businesses across Lancashire. Visit www.regeneratepl.co.uk for more information.

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