A SWINDON start-up will join 11 other small businesses from around the country in a project which aims to find an innovative solution to a major issue facing the country’s capital.

LandHawk Software Services developed a new platform to help property developers assess land for potential developments that would positively impact the local environment and enhance the nearby community.

This groundbreaking bit of kit developed in Swindon’s Workshed, part of the renovated Carriage Works, could play a key role in tackling the problem of ensuring that communities have a significant say in what’s being planned, as part of the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s Civic Innovation Challenge.

LandHawk CEO Tim Hughes said: “We are extremely excited. This news has got 2020 off to an amazing start here. Exciting times are ahead for our team.”

More than 125 applications to the project were whittled down to a shortlist of 23 companies who will work directly with challenge partners from the Metropolitan Police Service, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London to develop the proposal they submitted in response to one of two challenges.

LandHawk is one of 12 small firms trying to democratise planning while 10 others will brainstorm ways to counter violent extremism online.

All companies involved will benefit from a five-week curriculum delivered by experts from the Social Tech Trust and partners including Greater London Authority and Microsoft to access knowledge, expertise and insights on the trust’s networks.

They will get the opportunity to validate their solutions and be provided with a way to put them on the market.

In February, up to 10 companies taking part in the challenges will be further shortlisted and compete for a £40,000 contract to deliver a pilot project alongside their challenge partner.

Later in the year, one company per challenge will be awarded the £40,000 contract to test their idea further.

The second round of the Mayor of London’s Civic Innovation Challenge was launched by Mr in November 2019 at a reception hosted by Microsoft.