STUDENTS from schools across Salisbury will once again be able to showcase their ideas of how they believe the city can grow, thanks to an annual challenge.

The Salisbury Chamber of Commerce School’s Challenge, which is run in association with Salisbury Business Improvement District (BID) and the Journal, will this year have a main focus of ‘Enterprise and Enterprise Skills’.

Students will have the opportunity to enter from this September.

In previous years, pupils from schools across the region have put forward ideas ranging from heritage apps for visitors, a family fun park, an entertainment and business venue, portable storage and charging points for shoppers, and “iconic” statues that would welcome people to the city.

Last year, the idea of a city-wide monorail for easier transport was also proposed.

Acting chamber president Robin Trevett said: “This year’s challenge has been badly affected by Covid-19, but we’re still very keen to see students’ enterprise ideas as well on the environment and climate change.

“However, we believe strongly that highlighting and further developing an enterprise culture across the city – especially amongst our young people – can make a real contribution to Salisbury’s recovery.”

He added: “There is much excellent work on enterprise already taking place in our schools and colleges, but we hope business can continue to add value. Many students leaving this month – or planning to next summer – have missed out on some aspects of careers advice and guidance and contact with employers.

“I hope our work from next term can bring the support schools are looking for. In addition, as well as providing them with this help, we are hoping that individuals or student groups will send us project ideas that will help create a new start for Salisbury.

“Their enterprising projects and ideas must be heard and fully considered by everyone.”

Judges say that projects could be an Enterprise Challenge – to plan, ‘run’, and pitch an idea – to a real business audience, or a wide range of enterprising ideas and suggestions supporting the business and retail scene, transport, environmental concerns and much more, including Salisbury’s status as the first UK city to have access to ultra fast broadband.

It is crucial that an initiative such as the Schools Challenge is something that can be incorporated into schools’ plans – more than ever in the present situation of uncertainty. The Chamber hopes therefore to finalise details of the Challenge in the next few weeks with advice from schools so that it really is fit for purpose.

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