CHILDREN are being given the opportunity to shape the city’s future by taking part in a new competition.

The inaugural Salisbury Schools Business Challenge will encourage secondary school pupils to take a closer look at the city. For some it will be a detailed investigation into one or more aspects of the life of the city and what it is like to live here.

The Our City challenge will give youngsters the chance to form their own views and analysis on the state of the city and its future development.

Salisbury Chamber of Commerce president Andy Rhind-Tutt said: “Their work will be instrumental in feeding into a master plan to regenerate Salisbury. One day it will be their city and this engagement now as Salisbury starts its journey of rediscovery is so important.”

Students’ work should take account of economic, employment and transport issues, retail, heritage, the arts and tourism, plus local military and scientific expertise.

Business experts will be on hand to advise students, and there will be vocational support from the wider community.

Simon Firth, principal of Salisbury Sixth Form College, said: “The Schools Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for students to engage with their local community and think about the issues facing Salisbury in the coming years and how to make the city an even better place to live, work and flourish.”

The challenge will have three age categories; Key Stage 3 (11-14) Key Stage 4 (14-16 ) and A Level (16-18).

There will be a certificate for all participants with a trophy and cash prize of £500 for the winning team in each category. In addition, there will be a prize of £1,000 and silver trophy for the overall winning school. The trophies will be provided by jeweller Allum and Sidaway.

Entries from schools are due by March 9, 2018, with judging at the end of the spring term. Winners from each age category and the overall winning school will be announced at the Salisbury Journal Education Awards in July 2018.

The challenge is a joint venture between Salisbury and District Chamber of Commerce, the Salisbury Journal and the Salisbury Business Improvement District.