MALCOLM Wallis has spent the last four years of his life building up his heir hunting business.
But now the 59-year-old, from Hartlepool, is ready to expand the firm that he owns and runs. His company called Lineage Research Limited is run from his home at Hartlepool Marina.
He has a passion for genealogy and decided to turn professional after being made redundant from his job in the timber and joinery industry.
He receives work in several ways, including searching the Treasury’s bona vacantia list, a public document that lists all those people that have died but have not left their estate to anyone.
But he now needs to expand as genealogy and heir hunting is big business.
He was one of the fantastic entries in the Keys To Success competition, which is run by the Hartlepool Mail in conjunction with UK Steel Enterprise.
Its prize is an office unit which is free for a year within Hub Two of the Innovation Centre on the Queens Meadow Business Park in Hartlepool.
Malcolm said: “I am getting to a point where I have to expand because I can’t go on with the business the way it is.”
Malcolm is a professional heir hunter and it is his job to search for beneficiaries of estates after people have passed away.
He added: “If I did win, it would be like a dream come true.”
The aim of the competition is to give a business that has real potential to grow.
UK Steel Enterprise, the Tata Steel subsidiary that supports businesses in steel areas with finance and premises, has joined up with the Hartlepool Mail.
One lucky entrant will get to win a 200 sq ft office, spacious enough to accommodate three people. It is already furnished and the lucky winner will pay no rent, rates, lighting or heating bills for 12 months.
The closing date for entries has now passed and the judging process for the competition is now imminent, with the judges facing the difficult task of choosing a winner.