Dragon’s academy to be a roaring success

Peter Jones CBE.
Peter Jones CBE.

A TV tycoon is giving young entrepreneurs a hand on the road to success with the launch of a new academy.

East Durham College, in Peterlee, will be the site of a new Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, launched by the Dragons’ Den star.

The college, in Willerby Grove, will offer the BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Understanding Enterprise and Entrepreneurship along with the BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship which Mr Jones, who founded telecoms group Phones International, helped develop.

The academy, which will take its first students from September and is the only one in County Durham, is expected to offer 50 places annually for 16 to 19-year-olds.

Mr Jones set up the academy programme nationwide because he wanted to create a centre of excellence for developing enterprise skills and “shift the boardroom to the classroom”.

He said: “I believe that this is a critical time to engage and inspire our future entrepreneurs.

“To ensure this, we must nurture and support entrepreneurial talent in our young people and a main aim of our Enterprise Academy has been to work with key college partners, including East Durham College.”

College interim principal Eugene McCrossan said: “This is a real coup for us here in Peterlee because developing entrepreneurs and enterprise skills in young people is critical to the future success of the local economy.

“By the time they finish the course, our students will have what it takes to thrive in the business world.”

Information about the Academy and how to apply will be available at an open day on Saturday, April 28, from 10am-1pm.