A BOLTON-BASED alcohol-free drinks company has secured a huge investment from Dragons Den to roll out products in more stores.

Richard Clark, founder and managing director of Drynks Unlimited, went into the den on Sunday night's show with his UK sales director, Paul Briscoe, to ask for £125,000 towards the firm.

Their products, Smashed Cider, Lager, and Citrus, interested both Sara Davies and Deborah Meaden, with Mrs Davies offering them the funding in exchange for a 7.5 per cent stake.

Richard said: "This has been three years in the making, I've got a lot of background in launching products and then when I was quite poorly I wanted to do something on my own.

"I started thinking about what people can drink when you can't drink alcohol and so we came up with 'Rethinking Drinking' to find something that's socially acceptable and great tasting.

"The team I have around me at Crabbies are all experts and I want to say a big thank you to everybody that's helped.

"People see the TV bit but they don't see the time and effort put in by the people behind the scenes. It's been three years of research."

The firm spent seven months installing the UK's first cool vacuum distillation (CVD) equipment at Robinsons' craft brewery in Stockport.

Under the CVD system, which has cost the company £1million to perfect, premium craft drinks are gently de-alcoholised without the original flavours of their ciders and beers being lost in the process.

Each drink has less than 0.05 per cent alcohol by volume, making them all officially alcohol free.

The firm only has employees in the North West, and does its best to use solely British ingredients in production.

Smashed Cider, Lager, and Citrus are available in cans and bottles and can be purchased at the firm's depot at 86 Bridgeman Street.

The depot is open from 9-3pm Monday to Friday.