TWO friends who decided to set up their own business in Swindon have been named Young Entrepreneurs of the Year.

Ben Lawton and Dan Pettitt began video content producer Ottr Works three years ago and have helped names like the National Trust, Catalent and Great Western Railway.

Though the pair both went to Highworth Warneford School, they would not team up together until many years later.

Ben said: "We weren’t friends as such though we did know each other. I went to New College to study public services and then went through a series of jobs from working with the police service, to hospitality to working in IT.

"I found that with each job, I got increasingly bored very quickly. When I met up with Dan again and he talked about video and the work he was doing, it seemed logical to jump right in.”

Dan said: "I did a qualification in public services and then I worked for a company and became increasingly involved in video production for their social media – and I loved it.

"I made videos in my own time too. My previous employer issued an ultimatum that I should only work for them so I saw that as my opportunity to embrace my own company.”

The two 25-year-olds set up Ottr Works in February 2017, with Dan covering the creative side and Ben looking after the logistics, operations and finances.

Since then, the business has hit a £100,000 turnover and its entrepreneurial founders received awards recognition from the South West Business and Community Awards.

This year, hundreds of businesses were nominated and the pair faced tough competition from around the region.

Ben added “Winning was completely unexpected. We’re delighted to be recognised in this way and among our peers. It came in the same week that we moved into our new office in Devizes Road so it’s been a week of celebration.”

Dan said: “We are thrilled with the award. We truly believe that video and visual story-telling will become increasingly important in business. We’re fast becoming a visually-connected society and if you are not engaging in this way, you’ll start to lose ground to those who are using video as a marketing tool.”