Priestnall High School wins Manchester Airport’s Dragons’ Den competition


·        Year 10 pupils from Priestnall High School see off eight other Greater Manchester and Cheshire schools to win annual competition

·         Stretford Grammar School wins runner-up prize for presenting the idea with the best green credentials

·        The Dragons’ Den competition at Manchester Airport returned for a 12th edition this year after a hiatus during the pandemic

·        Competing groups have raised a total of £13,335 for good causes

A group of pupils from Priestnall High School are celebrating after winning Manchester Airport’s 12th annual Dragons’ Den competition for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Pupils created a Christmas tree decoration commemorating the life of the late Queen Elizabeth II, and raised a total of £7,813 in sales, which they donated to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity.

The group was crowned in an event at The Nest in Wythenshawe on Monday, after pitching to a panel of Dragons from the Airport Community Network, an association of businesses operating at the airport which includes airlines, ground handling agents and construction partners, as well as Manchester Airport itself.

Groups of up to six budding entrepreneurs from schools across Greater Manchester and Cheshire were invited to develop a business model and bid for a business start-up loan of £200, in order to purchase materials and manufacture, market and sell the product in their local communities, with items to retail for a maximum of £8.

In total, nine groups took part in the competition, raising a total of £13,335 between their ventures, which will be donated to charitable causes of the pupils’ choice. The winning group from Priestnall High School will be rewarded with a VIP trip to see the Lion King at the Palace Theatre.

In addition to the main prize, pupils from Stretford Grammar School were awarded the title of the enterprise the best green credentials. The group created beeswax candles in recycled jars, with the wax made from local bees.

Runner-up prizes were also awarded to North Cestrian and Alderley Edge School for Girls for Best Presentation and Most Innovative Product, respectively.

Supporting the event were partners Timpson, whose CEO, James Timpson OBE, spoke to participating pupils on the day of the event about running the largest service retail business in the UK, offering them tips on how to succeed in business.

Robert Pattison, Head of Community Engagement at Manchester Airport, said: “We were thoroughly impressed with the variety of ideas pitched by our budding entrepreneurs and there was so much creativity and ingenuity on show from each and every group that entered. Congratulations to Priestnall High School who were worthy winners.

“The Dragons’ Den competition forms part of our wider educational outreach programme, engaging with thousands of pupils in our neighbouring communities every year.

“We hope that all pupils who took part in this year’s competition gained knowledge and skills that will stand them in good stead for their future careers.”

For more information on Manchester Airport’s Community Relations programme, visit www.manchesterairport.co.uk/community.