STUDENTS from St Antony’s Catholic College in Urmston have beaten 19 other schools from across Greater Manchester in Manchester Airport’s Dragons’ Den competition.

Schools across the region gathered for a ‘Grand Final’ at the Holiday Inn Express, Manchester Airport and pitched their products to the Dragons, made up of representatives from locally based businesses including Cathay Pacific, Marriott Hotels and John Lewis.

St Antony’s Catholic College created a wooden Manchester bee decoration in the challenge to create a Christmas present that could be sold for £5 or less. The group presented a summary of productivity, finance and lessons learnt as a result of the experience to the dragons, where they revealed they managed to raise over £6,000 from the sale of the bee .

As a prize, the team enjoyed a VIP trip to see Elf the Musical, where they were picked up from school by limousine before going for dinner and being taken to see the hit festive musical.

Fiona Wright, head teacher said: “The students have worked so hard, devoting many hours to the project both inside and outside of school. The staggering amount they’ve raised is testament to this and all of us at the school are immensely proud.

“The whole experience has been fantastic for them, and I’m sure they’ve come away with some invaluable skills for the future."

In total, a record breaking amount of £20,234.61 was raised by the 20 schools taking part and will go to Hope House Children’s Hospice, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, East Cheshire Hospice, St Ann’s Hospice and Francis House.

Wendy Sinfield, community relations manager at Manchester Airport, said: “There were some fantastic ideas this year, with real originality from the teams and I’m overjoyed by the incredible amount they’ve managed to raise for charity.

“The Dragons’ Den competition is not only fun for the students, but gives them skills and knowledge that will help with their future careers.

"On behalf of the Airport Community Network, I want to congratulate all of the students for their hard work and inventive ideas, and I hope they go away having had some fun learnt some more about business”.