The team of self-employed business people behind The Cotswold Challenge is celebrating being shortlisted in not just one, not just two, but three categories of the South West Business Awards.

Allison Murray, who runs a brand and identity business, Allison Murray Design, said: “We are thrilled to have our important initiative recognised. When we started this challenge for young students last year during the first lockdown, none of us exected it to be so successful. We were overwhelmed at the time to receive over 500 entries.” Nigel Chute of Chute Design agreed and said: “The Cotswold Challenge was set up to help students that were going to miss out on their GCSEs and A-Levels and we were so fortunate to be supported by many generous sponsors, expert celebrity judges and even had a letter from the Secretary of State for Education. I feel honoured to be part of the initiative.”

The South West Business Awards will be announcing the winners at a gala virtual Awards Ceremony on Thursday 29th April at 6pm. The Cotswold Challenge team will be virtually attending to see if they have won an Award for either Charity of the Year; New Start-Up Business of the Year or Covid Community Champion.

Fiona Scott, who is a media consultant based in Swindon and is also one of the team of four behind the highly successful Challenge, said: “We never in a million years imagined how successful or popular the Challenge would be. It was so successful that we are extending it this year to Year 11, 12 and 13 students at schools and colleges in and around Swindon.” Something else new for this year is: The Special Recognition Award for Outstanding Talent. One student from each of the three categories – Art & Design, Creative Writing and Innovation & Entrepreneurial Thinking – will be chosen by the team to receive this new award.

The Cotswold Challenge 2021 will launch on Tuesday 1st June and the closing date for entries will be Tuesday 6th July.

To find out more, visit

The Cotswold Challenge team

The Cotswold Challenge team by Barbara Leatham Photography
L-R: Allison Murray, Fiona Scott, Nigel Chute, Chris Roberts


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