A BUSINESS idea which would help bring Chester’s Roman heritage to life has made it through to the final stage in the national Barclays Take One Small Step competition with the chance of winning one of nine £50,000 prizes.

Winning a cash prize would bring The Roman Fort Project, part of the Roman Tours firm, a step closer to reality.

Dean Paton, an archaeology graduate from Chester University who is working for Roman Tours on the Roman Project, said: “We decided to enter the competition because Barclays was offering something different to what else is out there for small businesses and we wanted to enter as we thought it would be perfect for our project.

“Roman Tours provides Roman educational tours and visits to over 30,000 school children every year, taking history off the page and breathing life into it.

“However, we wish to really bring the past to life by reconstructing a Roman marching fort in Chester to be used as an education centre for children and the local community.

“Land and some support has already been offered to us by the University of Chester, but we have to find the funding to build this incredible project. This fort will benefit the education of literally thousands of children across the UK, as well as providing a centre to be used by local community groups, charities and schools in the North West.

“Small businesses tend to come from passionate people with big ideas. Support is essential as a small business doesn’t always mean a small idea.”

Martin Baker, Barclays Business, regional director said: “This competition is about giving a boost to Great Britain’s businesses, which really are the engine room of our economy. It’s about finding – and rewarding – great businesses or those with a great business idea, and giving them a fantastic opportunity to get their message out to millions of people.”

To win the prize money the finalists must now drum up public votes for their idea by enlisting the support of family, friends, colleagues, customers, and their community to get behind them to help them win.

For further details, and to vote, visit: www.takeonesmallstep.co.uk