Talking Business: ‘Is Plymouth the Sleeping Giant of Leisure?’

29 January 2018 | Business & Enterprise, Employers

The future of Plymouth as a global tourism hotspot was the topic of discussion at Plymouth’s leading business dining event, City College’s Talking Business.

Run in partnership with The Herald, Talking Business gave local businesses the chance to discuss ‘Is Plymouth the Sleeping Giant of Leisure?’ The lively debate focused on how we can enhance the City to help it become a national and global visitor destination.

Leading the discussion were guest speakers James Brent, Chairman of the Akkeron Group and Plymouth Argyle Football Club, Jason Schofield, Chief Executive of Sutton Harbour Holdings and Bob King, Drake Island’s Project Co-ordinator.

Usually held at the College’s own PL1 Restaurant, this month’s event saw a change of venue as part of City College’s ‘takeover’ of the Duke of Cornwall Hotel. For one week only students and staff from the College have been handling everything from the reception desk and housekeeping to the hotel’s award-winning food and bar service.

An impressive 140 guests filled the Duke’s ballroom for the students’ special Burns Night themed menu where they experienced the ‘Addressing of the Haggis’, an abundance of tartan and some fiery whisky.

Pauline Hands, Director of Marketing, Business Engagement and Enterprise at the College, said: “Plymouth’s position on the global stage is being thrown into sharp relief in the run up to Mayflower 400. Our local business community was keen to hear our speakers’ thoughts on how we can capitalise on this and establish Plymouth as a real leisure and tourism destination.

“It is particularly apt that we debated this subject as our students experienced the high end of Plymouth tourism in their ‘City College @ The Duke’ takeover. Our long standing relationship with The Duke has provided a great experience for these young people who are looking to make their careers in the hospitality and tourism sector.”

Hosted by the BBC’s David Fitzgerald, the next Talking Business event is taking place on Thursday 15 March, 5.45pm to 9.00pm, back at its usual venue in the College’s PL1 Restaurant. The evening of questions and good food costs £17.50 per person, including a two-course meal with wine. Book and pay online at


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