WALKERBURN plumber Ross Dickinson has won thousands of pounds in a competition for his ingenious invention, writes Sally Gillespie.
The 35-year-old has invented a device to stop broken waterpipes gushing until a plumber can attend.
And he scooped £5,000 cash and £30,000 worth of business support for the ‘Kibosh’ in the 2011 Bright Business Idea competition at the New Start Exhibition at the Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh last weekend.
He said: “It’s a big boost. I’ve put three years of my life and thousands of pounds of my savings into this product.
“As a plumber I know that the most expensive damage and the greatest loss comes in the minutes after a pipe bursts. Yet with the Kibosh anybody can quickly clamp it over the burst, stop the leak, and get straight back to normal while they contact a plumber for a permanent fix.”
Mr Dickinson won after giving the best presentation (about his business) to a high-powered panel of judges from Business Gateway, Princes’ Scottish Youth Business Trust, Investor’s organisation Angel’s Den and legal firm Morisons.
He came up with the idea for the clamp-like plastic leak stopper three winters ago.
“I was fixing somebody’s burst pipes in Melrose and the place was absolutely wrecked and I just said to myself, ‘I can’t believe there’s nothing on the market that people could use’, and I just thought of the Kibosh. It just popped into my head.
“I took it to a family friend, Colin MacMillan at Cademuir Toolmakers in Selkirk, drew some pictures and explained it to him.
“He thought it was a good idea and they helped with the prototype development. I have tried it and it does work.”
Mr Dickinson has been working 16-hour days developing it since, alongside building up his plumbing business.
And he hopes the easy-to-use clamp will help people and create jobs.
The £30,000 business support includes IT support, legal advice, a set-up design package, accountant software and more.
Mr Dickinson said: “It’s come at the right time because it will help as I start the business and the money will help to pay for the tooling costs to make the Kibosh.”
He expects the Kibosh to be on sale within the next three months. “I can’t wait to get it finished and get going,” he said.