A team of pupils at a Bradford school have won a national competition – thanks to a scheme to turn trash into cash.

Already champions of Yorkshire, the five-strong team at St Bede’s Catholic Grammar School scooped won the Apex Mosaic Enterprise Challenge’s grand final in London.

It means the team’s business plan, which sees it ask the community for their recyclable waste that is then sold on to local businesses, will get a vital cash boost.

About 500 schools took part in the competition and those that got through to the finals faced the daunting task of running their idea past a judging panel comprising Margaret Mountford, of TV’s The Apprentice, and other enterprise celebrities.

The team, made up of year eight pupils, won £2,500 for the school and £500 “seed” money to help their business idea, called Cash4Trash, grow.

Making the win even more impressive was the age of the St Bede’s team – many of those they were competing against were several years older.

Jabila Khan, head of year eight, said: “The project involves getting people in the community to bring in their trash which the school will sell on to businesses. We have been in touch with a few companies who are offering above what they would normally pay.

“The £500 seed will be spent on things like health and safety equipment, bags and bins.

“The rest of the prize money will go to the school, and the team will get some say on how it is spent.”

She said any profit from the scheme will go to school funds.

She added: “We are really proud of them, they are 12 and 13 and they were competing against boys who were 15 and 16. When we were in London we couldn’t get over the amount of people saying how polite and humble the boys were.

Later this month the team will watch the filming of Dragons’ Den and run their idea past the stars of the show.