News & Press

Jannuary 2024

Alfie Wins Wigan Youth Zone ‘Dragon’s Den Challenge’ with Tasty Pet Treats

Wigan is full of budding young entrepreneurs judging by a recent Dragon’s Den Challenge held at Wigan Market. Talented children from Wigan Youth Zone (WYZ) took part in a competition to find the most successful idea for a market stall.

Each team was given £50 by the organisers Cityheart and BCEGI, to develop and create their own unique products, which were then put on sale at an exclusive Christmas Fair held at the Wigan Market Hall building opposite the WYZ.

In addition, they were given support and guidance from leaders at Wigan Youth Zone and a mentoring session organised by Cityheart, on how to run a successful market stall, which was delivered by market trading experts ‘Place Co’.

On the day, the teams were judged by a number of secret shoppers throughout the event on areas including, the most innovative idea, best displayed stall, customer service and also highest volume of sales on the day.

13-year-old, Alfie Lythgoe and his Big Paws Little Paws creation took first place with his highly successful business idea of selling homemade dog biscuits. He was presented with his prize of £200 by Warren Taylor, Chief Operating Officer at Cityheart.

Second place were The Christmas Crackers, who sold a selection of DIY Christmas crafts, joint third place went to Moon & Stars Bracelets and Destiny, who sold gaming gift bags and accessories.

Other participants included Choccywocky bombs, with hot chocolate bombs and marshmallow snowmen, Fidget Frenzy selling a range of fidget toys and Elziabeth Ward jewellery who sold a selection of Christmas themed necklaces.

Janette Heaton, Enterprise and Employability Co-Ordinator for Wigan Youth Zone said: “The competition was open to all of our junior members, with lots of children taking part, they spent a number of weeks developing and creating their ideas at our weekly sessions.

“It was fantastic to see all of the teams and individuals putting in a brilliant effort, not only on the day of the event but leading up to it. They attended a workshop to learn how to create, develop and promote a successful market idea and they all really rose to the challenge learning about how to run a successful business.”

The initiative was created by, Cityheart, the developer for the £135m Wigan Galleries redevelopment, alongside demolition contractor BCEGI and Wigan Youth Zone, with support from Wigan Council and PlaceCo, who are supporting the market traders during the demolition phase of the works. Given the success of the event Cityheart and Wigan Youth Zone hope to repeat this next year to a new bunch of local young entrepreneurs!


For more information, please contact:

Clare Coyne
07947 735060

Related Images:

Image caption – Cityheart’s Warren Taylor presents the prize to Alfie Lythgoe from winning team Big Paws Little Paws.