BUSINESS leaders from Scarborough and across the county were told about plans to merge Yorkshire Coast College with the Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education last night.
The Scarborough Ambassadors event, held in Fledglings Restaurant at the Lady Edith's Drive college, was sponsored by Bluebird Vehicles, Fred Normandale and Jasmine florist.
Rob Millar, managing director of Bluebird, is also chairman of governors at the college. He said: "Last night's event was an opportunity to showcase some of the talent on offer at the college.
"As chairman of governors I want to help make sure the college is not on the periphery of what is happening in the town but an integral part of it.
"We think everyone at last night's event will have been impressed by the skill demonstrated by students of the catering department but they will also have learnt that students throughout the college are developing much wider skills to met the needs of the business community."
Peter Wilkinson is vice chairman of the Town Team, part of Scarborough's urban renaissance initiative which organises the event. He said: "The Ambassadors group has established itself as one of the most influential gatherings in the region and its success is being talked about across the country.
"Last night's keynote speaker was Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, the newly branded tourist board for the region. We are very keen to get Mr Verity's help in supporting an initiative to have two Transpennine trains wrapped or decorated in the new It's A Coast Thing brand or livery.
"It was very interesting to hear what Mr Verity had to say about how Scarborough and the rest of Yorkshire was going to be marketed in the future and I hope the It's A Coast Thing brand can be included in future plans."
Also speaking at last night's event was Carl Hopkins, former chairman of direct marketing agency JDA Group. Mr Hopkins joined JDA as a designer in 1984, and worked his way up to become managing director before leading the buy-out of the agency from founder and owner Judith Donovan in 2000. He then moved up to become chairman in 2005 and negotiated the sale of the business; at his exit, in 2007, the firm was turning over almost 20 million.
The entrepreneur talked about his experiences in the business world and how he now spends his time guiding, helping and inspiring other businesses.
Last night's gathering was also told about the Evening News/Scarborough Ambass-adors' Triumph Over Adversity Award. A cheque will be presented to Springhead School student James Bailey.
James, 12, has just returned to school after undergoing major surgery for the second time in 12 months. The teenager has profound and multiple learning difficulties and complex health needs.
The money will be used to buy light and sound stimulation equipment which he can use at home.