AN EAST Yorkshire people development company has been engaged by one of the UK's leading kitchen manufacturers to create a national training academy.

B Learning & Development, based in Market Weighton, has won the contract from Omega plc which will enhance the skills of hundreds of staff from kitchen retailers and merchants across the country.

Omega Chairman Sir Bob Murray said the new academy would provide quality training to partners and give them the edge in winning sales.

"The National Training Academy will play a key role in our growth as well as helping our retail partners to prosper too," said Sir Bob.

"It is part of a multi-million pound investment programme which has seen a £20m expansion of our factory and £12m invested in new plant and machinery which together will help us increase annual sales to £125m over the next two years."

The new academy was officially launched by television chef and cookery author Prue Leith who also presents hit shows such as The Great British Bake Off and The Great British Menu.

B Learning & Development Managing Director, Suzette Verrill said: "The Academy will provide training for 650 people in the first year who will benefit from a range of our bespoke courses from kitchen planning and design through to marketing, sales and customer service skills.

"Sir Bob is an enthusiastic advocate of the power of lifelong learning and we are delighted to have been appointed to help him bring his dream of creating a national academy to life."

Omega plc is based at Stainforth near Doncaster and has recently expanded its factory to 400,000 sq ft enabling it to increase production to 34,000 kitchens per year.