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The Blair Project is hoping to raise £4,000 after an electric go-kart built by students as part of a STEM competition was stolen

A Manchester-based tech for good start-up has launched a crowdfunding campaign after an electric go-kart built by students as part of a STEM competition was stolen this week.

The Blair Project is a disruptive social enterprise and provider of alternative technical and vocational education, led by 22-year-old CEO Nile Henry with support from award-winning entrepreneur Dr Marilyn Comrie OBE.

Set up to equip young people with the latest STEM and digital skills using the power of motorsport, it recently launched a competition involving six teams from schools in Bolton, Wigan and Lancashire converting petrol go-karts into electric ones and competing in races.

The ProtoEV Challenge also saw students learning how to design and digitally manufacture parts for their electric go-karts using 3D printing.

The Race Invaders Team at Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley were due to compete in the final test day on the 17th July at Three Sisters Racing Circuit. However, the school was burgled on Monday night with the thieves making off an electric go-kart as well as tools and equipment.

According to Henry, they also attempted to torch the outhouse building where the kart was being stored, causing a further £2,000 worth of damage.

“We’re looking for any help we can get to the Fred Longworth Race Invaders back on track and competing of the final test/race day,” Nile said.

“We therefore want to hear from big hearted companies who are willing to donate money or volunteer time to get these despondent young people motoring again.”

Chris Nuttall, a teacher at Fred Longworth, said the team was “absolutely devastated”.

“We are shocked and disappointed that someone could do this to young people, who’ve been working hard on this project for the past few months,” he added.

“We just don’t have the funding ourselves to buy all the equipment back and t will be a shame of they are not able to compete.”

The Blair Project has launched a crowdfunding campaign  to raise £4,000 to allow the students to buy the equipment back.