UP to 20 new jobs could be created after metal fabrication giant WEC became a partner in a new modern stove manufacturing business.

Craig Mollet, LogFire Stoves director, has secured the backing of WEC to set up a new company, LogFire Stoves & Flues Ltd, at the firm’s Darwen headquarters.

A new range of wood-burning stoves, including freestanding versions, have gone into production this week using state-of-the-art technology, including eight flatbed laser cutting machines.

Each stove will cost between £1,300 and £2,500.

Mr Mollet said steel stoves would be produced initially but he had plans to expand the range in the future to include gas and multi-fuel versions as well as the outdoor heating market.

And as part of the company’s growth strategy, he had high hopes of job creation.

He said: “LogFire Stoves are entering market sectors which are growing annually despite the economic downturn.

“Due to the numerous agreements we have in place with flue and chimney manufacturers as well as our own brand of products, we expect to create between 10 and 20 jobs for the local economy.

“We want to launch the range as wood burners but in order to maximise sales and broaden the market for the LogFire brand, we already have an eye on product development to take us into the gas and multifuel sectors as well as the growth market of outdoor heating and entertainment.”

Wayne Wild, group director, said: “There will be a simple and streamlined order process for the new LogFire Stoves range.

“Retailers will get their own website log in details and will be able to place orders and receive invoices electronically.”

The new company follows WEC investing £1.5million to purchase a new 30,000 sq ft unit at the Walker Park industrial estate in Blackburn as part of an expansion.

In 2011, WEC’s turnover soared to £31.8 million.