New adventure as Dragon gives boost

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An adventure activity hire firm has been given an unexpected lift – by Theo Paphitis of Dragons’ Den fame.

Shane Reed and Bethyn Barrass, directors of Ingleton based Empire Adventure Limited, took to Twitter to tell Theo about their business, which hires equipment including human hamster balls, climbing walls and inflatables.

They tweeted the celebrity businessman, who is best known for his role on the panel of TV’s Dragon Den, during his Small Business Sunday initiative.

Theo set up the weekly contest to help small businesses promote the products and services they provide.

The six businesses he likes the most are re- tweeted every Monday at 8pm.

They are then invited to enter their profile on the Small Business Sunday website, which is sponsored by Ryman Stationery, where Theo is chairman.

Staff at Empire, which is based at Myrtle Cottages, Uppergate, were over the moon to find their company had been chosen by Theo.

Theo re-tweeted@mobileclimbhire’s message to his 304,000 followers.

Since then Empire has received a flood of new business enquiries and attracted 200 new Twitter followers.

The firm’s profile is now featured at

Shane Reed said: “This is a great achievement for our business, and shows what hard work and dedication can achieve.

“It is fantastic to have support from a great entrepreneur such as Theo.

“Being a relatively new business in such a harsh economic climate was always going to be tough, but Theo has recognised our hard work and helped spread the word about what we do to his Twitter following.

“This can only bring good to our company, and for this we are indebted.”

Empire, which was established in 2010, employs six seasonal staff.

Other services offered include mobile bar, hog roast and barbecue hire.

For more information about its services call 015242 41598, visit or email

Anyone looking for a re-tweet from Theo should tweet him about their business from 5pm-7.30pm on a Sunday, include the hashtag #SBS.

For further details about Small Business Sunday visit