Retallack Resort and Spa has joined forces with Cornwall College Group to create a new tourism training academy.

The Kitemark Academy is part of a planned £50 million investment at the five-star Retallack Resort near St Columb Major which includes 334 new holiday lodges and a £10 million indoor leisure facility that will be open year-round.

It will combine vocational training at Retallack with classroom-based learning at Cornwall College for up to 30 trainees and apprentices a year.

The academy has the backing of Visit Cornwall, which has highlighted the need for Cornwall to continuously improve its tourism offer in the face of global competition, as well as the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which is working with businesses and training providers to raise the quality and availability of apprenticeships in Cornwall and Scilly.

Mark Williams, director of Workforce Development Projects at Cornwall College, said: “The Kitemark Academy will be a unique model in the region that will sustain tourism growth by providing multi-skilled staff with the combination of abilities that industry needs.

“Retallack’s five-star status makes it an ideal training ground and I look forward to working together.”

Malcolm Bell, chief executive of Visit Cornwall, said: “It’s vital that Cornwall continues to invest in its tourism offer and the Kitemark Academy will create a skills bedrock for the rented accommodation sector, increasing the number of permanent and higher-paid jobs and enhancing the visitor experience. All of that is good for our economy.”

And Sandra Rothwell, chief executive of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, added: “Tourism is critical to Cornwall’s economy and the Kitemark Academy is an excellent example of an industry-led collaboration that will raise quality, give businesses the skills they need, and create more routes to well-paid employment through training and apprenticeships.”