A Staffordshire company hopes to score with an innovative portable dugout for schools and small football clubs.

Stoke on Trent firm Touchline-Pro has launched the product, which, when folded, will fit into a car boot.

It did so with the help of locally-based Different by Design, an industrial design consultant backed by regional development agency Advantage West Midlands.

The idea is the brainchild of director David Dale and his product is already making a promising debut in the football equipment market following its kick-start from Different by Design.

The fold-up dugout can seat between four and six people and allows managers, coaches and nonplaying footballers to watch the game from the touchline protected from the weather.

Different by Design introduced Mr Dale to product design specialists Raffo Design who helped to ensure that the dugout was portable, easy to assemble and provided a robust shelter against wind and rain.

They also designed the company's website - www.touchlinepro.com - where the portable dugout can be seen and bought for £385.

The sales potential is tremndous, says Mr Dale.

"By using design expertise we have been able to bring a product to market which is of enormous benefit to schools, youth clubs or small football clubs who would be unable to afford a permanent structure, or who play on grounds where a permanent dugout is just not possible," he said.

Different by Design director Bruce Wood said: "This is a classic case of design being used to make a great idea marketable. It is a clever idea that design has transformed into a real success story."