Wootton Bassett Chamber of Commerce is to launch a competition for new businesses today, in an attempt to attract investment into the town.

The aim of the competition, which boasts a £2,000 first prize, is primarily to publicise existing business opportunities in the town, as well as create additional employment.

Chamber committee member Joanna Leaning said: "Business life is thriving in the town at the moment, but you've got to keep things moving.

"A lot of new industrial units are going up, especially on the Whitehill Industrial Estate, and some shop units are still available.

"But with the closure of St Ivel, it's vital we continue to promote what this town has to offer, which includes proximity to the M4, good facilities for staff, and the fact that it's cheaper to run a business here than in Swindon.

"The competition is for anyone wanting to start a business from scratch, no matter what the size.

"The important factor is that it has been properly thought through and planned and will be judged on whether the panel of judges thinks that it is going to succeed."

Competitors will need to prepare a business plan which includes:

A description of the people involved, including their skills and experience and why they think they are able to make it work.

A business plan.

A statement of the costs and overheads and how these will affect pricing.

A market analysis, including proposals for how they intend to market the product.

North Wiltshire District Council is sponsoring the £2,000 award, while Business Link Berkshire and Wiltshire is offering a package of aid to the winning entrant.

Ms Leaning said: "There are currently more than 200 small companies based here.

"We hope this competition will attract even more businesses into the area."

Final judging will take place in October.

For further details, contact Joanna Leaning on (01793) 853908.