CREATE Education win BETT Award 2023 for collaboration with schools in 3D Printing 

The CREATE Education Project is pleased to announce that they have won a BETT Award 2023. The CREATE Education Project was shortlisted as a finalist for two BETT 2023 awards. These were ‘Collaboration with a School/Schools’ & ‘Company of the Year – Less than £3 million’. They walked away with the top prize for ‘Collaboration with a School/Schools’ for the ongoing ‘Inspiring Lancashire’ Programme for which they are partnering with BAE Systems Air

The Inspiring Lancashire Programme has been running since October 2021. Sponsored by BAE Systems Air, their £150K investment has allowed The CREATE Education Project to provide 52 schools in Lancashire with an Ultimaker 2+ Connect 3D printer and filament, alongside training for staff and workshops for Year 8 students. 

The culmination of the first wave of the programme saw schools battling it out in a challenge project for the best 3D printing design, themed around an environmental benefit. In March 2023, the top 9 schools were invited to a special awards ceremony at BAE Systems Air, Preston, with students from Our Lady and St John’s Catholic High School, Blackburn, claiming the top spot. 

The Inspiring Lancashire Programme has had a significant impact on over 2,500 pupils and over 100 teachers with: 

  • 70% of students saying that this project made them consider their Key Stage 4 options leading to a job in science, Technology or engineering.
  • 98% of teachers saying the project helped them to develop or significantly develop professionally.
  • 100% of teachers saying the workshops had generated a positive change in learner attitudes.

Such has been the extent of the impact that BAE Systems Air have invested an extra £500K over the next three years to extend the ‘Inspiring Lancashire’ Programme, giving the 52 schools involved access to extra equipment, further CPD, and more student workshops. The extra investment also means that 100 primary schools in Lancashire can get involved in the programme too, with the second wave set to benefit more than 18,000 students. 

In assessing the ‘Inspiring Lancashire’ programme for the award, the judges said:


“[We] felt that CREATE’s initiative combined product, training, content and support to enhance an entire county’s ability to develop technical career pathways. The testimonials and impact data were compelling. This was a genuinely innovative and transformative collaboration between schools and industry delivering exciting results.”


Paul Croft, Founder of The CREATE Education Project, said: 

“We are thrilled to have won a BETT 2023 Award, not only because it acknowledges the hard work that we do at CREATE Education every day to provide access to 3D Technology for young people but more so because it acknowledges the impact that this project has had on over 2,500 young people in Lancashire. The Inspiring Lancashire Programme really has been a collaborative venture. We couldn’t have made it happen without the investment from BAE Systems, the support of our CREATE Ambassadors, and the hard work and dedication of all the teachers and pupils at the 52 schools. We want to thank the judges at BETT for seeing the true impact this programme has had, and will continue to have, on the young people in Lancashire.” 


Cliff Robson, Group Managing Director, BAE Systems Air, added:

“The Inspiring Lancashire programme has already enthused and inspired many young people in Lancashire to study STEM subjects and consider some of the exciting careers paths they have in front of them.
We are delighted that CREATE Education’s amazing work on this has been recognised with this award, and we are looking forward to continuing, and expanding, our partnership to help inspire the next generation of Lancashire’s workforce.”