STUDENTS are turning a school project into a profit, after launching a new product on the market.

Pupils at Blackfyne School in Consett are producing and marketing a cactus-shaped pencil holder.

They set out to create it as part of their course work, but decided to take it a stage further and put it on sale. It has proved an instant success and they have already taken more than 40 orders.

GCSE manufacturing students produce the pieces and an entrepreneur team from the business studies course does the marketing.

Teacher Mandy Smith said: "The students feel it gets them much more motivated. It relates business theory to a practical situation and makes the GCSE manufacturing work more meaningful for the students."

The pencil holder is available from the school priced £4.49, including pencils.