SCHOOL children from across the county were left inspired and dreaming of the world of tomorrow following the Wiltshire Festival of Engineering.

More than 1,500 people attended the event, which was organised by Chippenham MP Michelle Donelan, to inspire the next generation of engineers and designers as well as showcase local manufacturing companies.

Schools across Trowbridge, Bradford on Avon, Melksham and Warminster sent their pupils along to the event, which was supported by the James Dyson Foundation and was held at the Olympiad Leisure Centre last Wednesday (September 28).

Amongst the exhibitions was a Formula Ford racing car, special effects used for the London Olympic Games and Airbus Defence and Space’s Mars rover model.

There were also stands for Wiltshire College, Siemens, Good Energy, Herman Miller and MJ Church amongst a range of other companies.

Miss Donelan said: “When I first announced the idea of bringing together local manufacturing companies with Wiltshire schools to inspire the next generation of designers and engineers, I certainly did not expect the event to be as successful as it proved to be.

“In total, we had 1,500 people attend the festival and the feedback I have received from schools, the companies and the children has been very positive.

“I am sure that by enthusing these young people from an early age and challenging the stereotypes that surround STEM careers, together, we can inspire them to develop an interest in science, technology and engineering.

“An additional aim of the festival was to showcase the diversity of local manufacturing, engineering and design companies and to highlight Wiltshire as a centre for this sector – a sector which is so vital to our national economy.

“I hope that together we can begin to find a way of plugging the local skills gaps and ensuring that local businesses thrive in the future.

“I am determined to build upon the success of the Festival of Engineering next year and certainly hope that you will be keen to support that event too.”