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Design the future workplace competition: £1,500 of Amazon vouchers up for grabs to youngsters and schools

Update: The winners announced

Here’s a chance for seven to 18-year-olds to win Amazon vouchers by imagining the workplaces of the future.

The way we work has gone under a revolutionary change within the last year. While we can all enjoy more flexibility in being able to work from home, many of us now appreciate the collaborative space, engagement, technical support, and equipment that a work environment provides.

Bidwells’ Cambridge offices, which COEL helped to design and fit out
Bidwells’ Cambridge offices, which COEL helped to design and fit out

When restrictions are gradually lifted, employees will start to return to their company’s headquarters.

In partnership with the Cambridge Independent, COEL, Allia Future Business Centre, Bidwells and the Cambridge Science Centre invite youngsters aged 7-18 to design a workplace of the future. We would like to learn what the next generation of children will value in the workplace, what they see as being essential and exciting facilities they hope to see when they go to work.

Who can enter?

Anyone aged 7-18. There are three age categories:

  • Age 7-11 years at primary school
  • Age 11-14 years at secondary school
  • Age 15-18 years at secondary school


Each age category will have the following prize allocation:

  • 1st: £150 Amazon vouchers. Each first prize winner will also get to nominate a charity which will receive a £50 donation. The school/college of the first prize winner for each age category will also receive £150.
  • 2nd: £100 Amazon vouchers
  • 3rd: £50 Amazon vouchers

How to enter

We need a single drawing either free hand or by computer in JPEG format and a short write-up describing your design (no more than 100 words). Only one entry can be submitted per child.

Remember to write your name, age, the school you attend and a contact telephone number for a parent on your entry form.

Please send entries to marketing@coel.uk.com by Wednesday, February 24, 2021. The prize winners will be announced in the Cambridge Independent on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

Inspiration for the design

There is no restriction of what can be in the competition entry. There are many different types of workplace: offices, schools, hospitals, banks, restaurants, beauty salons – think about what job your workplace supports.

Why do you need to go to a separate place to work? Is it to see other people, to work as a team, to learn from others, to teach others, to heal people, to create? What do you need in your workplace? Do you need technical equipment and resources, to have great wifi, sports facilities, a stage, to have somewhere quiet to work, to have somewhere to share your ideas with other people, to host worldwide seminars? What is it that makes your workplace design special, unique and special to you?

The most important thing is to use your imagination, creativity, and ingenuity in thinking about where you would like to work and what it would look like – create it and share it with us.

Bidwells’ Cambridge offices, which COEL helped to design and fit out
Bidwells’ Cambridge offices, which COEL helped to design and fit out

The sponsors


COEL is a team of commercial interior design and fit-out specialists committed to ensuring that clients get the best from their working environment. Specialising in office and laboratory design and fit-out, refurbishment, storage, and relocation; the business has been built on a constant reputation for listening to clients and delivering projects on time and on budget. Established over 30 years ago COEL offer a full turnkey service to a wide range of clients who work in diverse professional fields including commerce, scientific research and development, retail, and education.

Allia Future Business Centre

Allia Future Business Centres offer flexible workspace and a vibrant community for small businesses who are creating change, as well as running free business support programmes and leading innovative impact projects. The non-for-profit organisation is dedicated to supporting businesses to thrive, grow and create jobs, so that they can make a positive impact on their community, as well as addressing social and environmental global challenges.


Bidwells is one of the UK’s leading property consultancies, offering clients knowledge of, and access to, some of the most interesting real estate markets with the highest growth potential in the UK.

Over 80 per cent of the consultancy’s work is concentrated in the ‘Golden Triangle’ of Cambridge, Oxford, and London, including sector-leading work in the science & technology, and education sectors. Bidwells helps investors, developers, occupiers, house builders and home owners to harness the benefits of the exceptional growth in these markets which represent over 44 per cent of all real estate activity in the UK.

Cambridge Science Centre

Cambridge Science Centre is all about empowering children and young people from every background to discover science for themselves through hands-on activities. Pre-Covid, we achieved this at our centre, in the community and in schools. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been offering free access to parents to all our online activities via CSCOnline. For primary schools we are offering a number of our favourite shows through our VirtualSchoolTrip. VirtualSchoolTrip is our way of still letting schools have that trip to the Centre feeling and sparking pupils' curiosity into discovering science for themselves. For communities groups, we are offering a hard-copy magazine, OpenUpScience. OpenUpScience is packed with experiments, activities and challenges which again can be done at home with everyday items. To date, we have reached well over 40,000 children.

The Cambridge Independent is pleased to support the competition as media partner.

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