“There has simply been no better supporter of business and enterprise in Blackpool.”
Warm-hearted tributes were paid to Pauline Waterhouse as the Principal of Blackpool and The Fylde College received a fond farewell from the town’s business community.
Mrs Waterhouse steps down as Principal and Chief Executive next week after nine years in the role.
Members of Blackpool’s Business Leadership Group (BBLG) – a private-sector led organisation that comprises a range of businesses within tourism, manufacturing, construction, retail, finance and other business services – met at the Winter Gradens to express their gratitude.
Philip Welsh, Blackpool Council’s Head of Partnerships, said: “The transformation of the college in the nine years Pauline has been there has been phenomenal.
“And during that time there has been quite simply no better supporter of business and enterprise in Blackpool.”
During Mrs Waterhouse’s tenure, the college has witnessed the multi-million pound transformation of its Bispham campus and the creation of a new University Centre aimed at improving aspirations for the town and support regeneration.
The college, which was awarded University Centre status, has also grown from a £30m to a £52m organisation employing more than 1,300 staff.
It is now one of the largest employers on the Fylde coast while the number of 16-18 year old students has grown by 50 per cent and the number of higher education students almost trebled.
Mrs Waterhouse has also spearheaded many partnerships between the education and business community.
She told BBLG members: “It has been a privilege to be at Blackpool and The Fylde College and it has ndoubtedly been the best job of my career.
“I have seen so much transformation in Blackpool in nine years through a great many regeneration projects.
“Blackpool’s business community has been willing to embrace, get involved with and form partnerships in so many projects that make a real difference for young people across the Fylde coast.”