1 June 2021

Cotswold Challenge goes live today!
HUNDREDS of young students across Swindon are being invited to take part from today (June 1) in the Cotswold Challenge competition. A competition with cash prizes to celebrate their talent.

Four business owners from Swindon and the Cotswolds have raised thousands of pounds in sponsorship to launch the contest. It’s aimed at young people who would have been taking their GCSEs, A Levels or their equivalent examinations in 2021. 

Cotswold Challenge
Cotswold Challenge goes live today!

An array of judges

The team have gathered a stunning array of judges for this year’s competition. The list includes TV presenter and owner of Cotswold Farm Park Adam Henson. Then there’s artist, social media influencer and comedian Arron Crascal along with interior designer and TV presenter Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. Not forgetting journalist and tv personality Dom Joly. 

When it began

The Cotswold Challenge was first staged in March last year by a team of self-employed professionals. That team included Nigel Chute (Chute Design); Allison Murray (Allison Murray Design); Chris Roberts (Chris Roberts MBE PR) and Fiona Scott (Scott Media).

With education in schools and colleges disrupted for the second year running, the challenge has returned to give young people from the Cotswolds and across Swindon the chance to win a ‘real world’ prize. One judged by people who are successful in their profession. 

The team believe that the past year’s Year 11, 12 and 13 students, penned ‘the lost or Covid generation’, need to be able to showcase their talent. And further receive reward for what has been, without doubt, a very tough time for them all.

Fiona Scott, runs her business Scott Media from Swindon and has lived in the town since 1997. She said:’We’re urging young people, their parents, guardians, grandparents, friends, brothers and sisters to take part. This is an opportunity not only to win a cash prize but also to showcase talent in public to people who are influential in their respective fields. In life and business, contacts are invaluable.’

A successful initiative

The initiative was super successful in 2020. Around 500 young people entered the categories of:

  • Art and design
  • Creative writing
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurial Thinking

The prizes in each category are as follows:

  • First place: £500
  • Second place: £300
  • Third place: £150
  • Fourth place: £50

There’ll also be £25 book tokens for four students in each category who are highly commended. And also, this year there’ll be a special recognition award for outstanding talent chosen by The Cotswold Challenge team and given to one person in each category.

How to enter

You can submit entries online until the evening of Tuesday 6th July and judging will take place in mid July. Visit 

To see an animation about the challenge:

The Judges

Art and design

  • Val & Martin Adamson – The Sculpture Studio
  • Lady Bathurst of Cirencester Park
  • Martin Burgess – art gallery owner & artist
  • Paul Cottrell – designer 
  • Arron Crascall – artist, social media influencer & comedian
  • Trevor Hart – creative writer, artist & commercial photography
  • Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen – interior design & tv presenter 
  • Lucy McMillan-Scott – portrait artist
  • Nic Vickery – artist
  • Sally Wyatt – artist

Creative writing

  • Angela Atkinson – author & Swindon blogger
  • Kim Harvey – owner of The Mad Hatter Bookshop
  • Amanda Jennings – author
  • Dom Joly – journalist and tv producer
  • Fiona Scott – journalist 
  • C L Taylor – author

Enterprise and innovation

  • Nigel Chute – Chute Design
  • Nicky Godding – editor of Business & Innovation magazine
  • Tom Harper – Little Imagineers
  • Adam Henson – owner Cotswold Farm Park & TV presenter
  • Andy Langley – CEO of tech company Ntegra
  • Verity Manners – of Wrag Barn Golf Club
  • Caroline Summers – owner of The Paperback Shop
  • Jeevan Thandi – of Enterprize
  • Ruth Waddingham – designer & innovator

Sponsors to date:

  • Barbara Leatham Photography
  • Bulldog Websites
  • Jeevan Thandi of Enterprize
  • Ernest Cook Trust
  • Jodie Fraser of Fraser Allen Estate Management
  • Fi Da Silva Adams of Revolution Performing Arts
  • The Royal Agricultural University
  • Caroline Summers of The Paperback Shop
  • Kevin Wignall, mystery, crime fiction, thriller and suspense novelist

See also:

Born Again Swindonian Logo

Sign up to receive awesome Swindon content in your inbox, every week.