A CLACKS martial arts club wants to put the county "on the map" after being crowned winners of a Forth Valley Dragon's Den-style competition.

Submission Factory earned the accolade at this year's The Heat which took place on Tuesday, March 15, at Ceteris in the Alloa Business Park.

Former Forth Valley College student Gary Priestly and his business partner Craig McIntosh opened the gym last year and took the top prize, edging out nine other Forth Valley businesses.

The judging panel said the business presented a fresh approach to providing an all-inclusive gym, with a variety of affordable classes to suit a range of stages as well as personal training and gym facilities all under the one roof.

Craig McIntosh told the Advertiser: "It's been a dream come true since opening the gym last year.

"We've already seen our members improve and achieve so much.

"Winning The Heat competition was an amazing experience and the prizes will allow us to take our business to the next level and reach more people.

"Our goal is to help improve the life of as many people as possible through martial arts and fitness.

"We also want to put the Wee County on the map by building one of the leading MMA and grappling competition teams in the world."

The Heat (Highlighting Entrepreneurship All Together) is a Dragons' Den style competition for the Forth Valley region, organised by the Business Gateway Clackmannanshire team with support from Business Gateway colleagues in Falkirk and Stirling.

Over the past eight years Ceteris, Business Gateway Clackmannanshire and its sponsors have given away £40,000 worth of prizes to the winners and finalists to help them grow and develop their business.

The Submission Factory has had a successful first year, with this award capping off plenty of tournament successes.

Athletes from the club have won medals in competitions across the UK, including Glasgow and Birmingham.

Zak Stark, head of commercial and training delivery at Forth Valley College, who attended the final event, said: "I am delighted for our former student Gary.

"He has done very well by starting Submission Factory with Craig and they have shown that they can go from strength to strength in the years ahead.

"Well done to them both."

The Heat judges added: "The passion and determination of the two business owners shone through their pitch and really impressed us.

"Gary is an ex-student of Forth Valley College and it is fantastic to see that he has co-founded a business in the local area."