THE chairman of the Co-operative Group is heading to York to officially launch York St John University’s new Business School.

Retail expert Allan Leighton will join newly appointed Dean of School Dr Bob Gammie on February 1 for the launch of the new initiative, which has been created with the aim of inspiring leadership and supporting the regional business community.

York Business School will also offer business consultancy opportunities and student placements in addition to an expanded range of courses to both prepare students for the world of work and consolidate York St John’s contribution to business in the city and beyond.

Dr Gammie said: “We know that businesses expect graduates to be adaptable, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy and I’m extremely pleased that we can meet skills gaps with our undergraduate and MBA degree apprenticeships and postgraduate qualifications as well as a broad range of undergraduate degrees.

“It’s vital that we enable the next generation of business leaders to develop the confidence, resilience and skills to meet the needs of a changing world.”

At the Business School’s launch, Mr Leightton will be sharing his experience of leading organisations through significant change with an audience of York St John staff, students and representatives from companies and organisations across York and the Yorkshire region.

In taking the reins of the school, Dr Gammie brings his wealth of experience in delivering a wide spectrum of business education, and he is already transforming the range of education opportunities at York St John University.

He said: “This commitment to transform individuals in order to enhance their capacity and capability to make a difference in society is at the heart of York Business School’s aim to build and sustain a learning community through teaching, research and enterprise of the highest standard.

“I’m lucky to have tremendous staff to support the provision of a high quality academic environment.

“I want this to be a business school for Yorkshire, where graduates make a difference.”

The launch event will be hosted by Jon Hammond Booth, former BBC presenter and Governor of York St John, who will lead a Q&A session with Mr Leighton.

York St John University has nine new academic Schools and an increase in the range of demand-led courses resulted in a 14 per cent rise in student numbers in 2017. Around 100 degree course options are now available.