A record number of local schools and colleges took part in a scheme to inspire young people to succeed in business, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Four of the schools took part in the Craven area finals of the Young Enterprise Awards, with Skipton Girls' High School chosen to represent the area in the North Yorkshire finals.

And Aire View Primary School, Silsden, has been praised after becoming pioneers in the primary programme.

Teams from Greenhead School, Utley, Keighley College, South Craven School, as well as Skipton Girls' High School, joined other in the Craven area to set up their own businesses in September.

Charles Davis, who acts as an advisor and Craven area board member, said the schools all set up their own companies, with real bank accounts and boards of directors.

He said: "This is a unique way for students to get an insight into business, and that is why I am encouraging other schools to participate."

Mr Davis praised the work of Keighley College and Greenhead School, who were both taking part for the first time. He added: "It is very gratifying that new schools are getting involved and they benefit from it and seem to be enjoying what they are doing."

The finalists wrote up final reports, set up trade stands and gave a presentation to a panel of expert judges.

Skipton Girls' High School's Handbags and Gladrags company was overall winner, but the Keighley College team was commended for its enthusiasm and positive attitude.

Roger Benson, next year's vice-president of Keighley Rotary Club, awarded a special Rotary prize for the best presentation to South Craven School's business.

Mr Benson encouraged all the achievers to keep up their entrepreneurial spirit, having helped several Yorkshire-based Prince's Trust participants go on to become millionaires.

Aire View was the first primary school from the area to become involved with the Young Enterprise scheme.

The programme involves a series of lessons for four to 11-year-olds, teaching them about different materials, packages and how the world works.

Mr Davis hoped more schools would take part next year and urged potential advisors and businesses to get involved. For more information contact him on 01535 656966.

Above: The South Craven School team which won the best presentation award