STUDENTS are being given the opportunity to compete to have their original artwork painted onto a community basketball court, following a £2,000 council grant.

Budmouth Academy is running the competition for its students to enter a design to be considered for the basketball court on The Marsh Playing Fields, in a bid to help pupils 'take ownership of their town'.

The winner's design will then be brought to life and will be painted onto the basketball court by A Level art students in the summer.

The Friends of the Marsh applied for funding from Weymouth Town Councillor to support the project and secured £2,000 which will mainly be used to buy paint.

Councillor Alex Fuhrmann, who represents the Westham ward and is a self-declared 'basketball enthusiast' said: "All these kids are at home and if they are struggling for things to do and outlets where they can be creative then this is a great opportunity to inspire them.

"Students are really energetic and this is a great way to engage young people and give them some ownership of the marsh and their town.

"I am so pleased that Weymouth Town Council is supporting this project."

The competition, which closes on March 31, will take on a 'Dragon's Den' style format where students will have the opportunity to practice doing a tendering process for a design and present their ideas to a panel of judges.

Students are given full reign to be creative with their designs. The only rule is that they must incorporate the markings needed for playing basketball.

The designs will be judged by Cllr Fuhrmann, Emma Cartwright, head of art and design at Budmouth Academy, and Matt Byatt, chairman of the Friends of the Marsh.

Cllr Fuhrmann said: "I would like to think that this is something that we can carry on into the future on different public spaces around the town.

"I want kids to have the opportunity to see their art in our town and not feel they have to travel to London or Brighton to see artwork.

"There is so much great creativity here and we should showcase it."