A Merseyside businessman has secured funding on a BBC hit business show for his vegan fragrance and candle brand, Owen Drew.

He won the show after winning £50,000 for his business from Dragon, Tucker Suleimanjust last year.

Drew has also been a prominent LGBTQ campaigner and just two days ago was seen at the second North West LEGBTQ+ Business Awards, which he founded, at Liverpool’s Titanic Hotel.

His mother Kate shared the sad news on Facebook in a post which read: “It is with a really, really broken heart that we have to tell you that our beloved Dru Peter George Cockton (my lovely boy) passed away peacefully yesterday at home.

“We are incredibly devastated. Life will never, ever be the same. Rest in peace, dear boy.’

While Drew’s partner Ryan Gunn posted a photo of the pair on his Facebook page as people shared their condolences and paid tribute to the late businessman.

Drew caught the attention of the Dragons after explaining how he set up a hotel business in Manchester aged just 22 after leaving his job in financial services.

He later started his candle business, which now has its own firm in Birkenhead, producing natural soy wax candles, soy wax melts and luxury room mists.

Drew then created the North West LGBTQ+ Business Awards to highlight the contribution of the LGBTQ+ community to the North West economy.