The next generation of Carlisle’s budding business leaders have met to set up a group to promote the city as a great place to live, study and work.

Representatives from firms including the Cumberland Building Society, Nestle, Genesis Homes, David Allen Accountants, Capita and Alistair Herd Photography met with youngsters who are in the process of formalising the young people’s version of the successful Carlisle Ambassadors programme.

Carlisle Ambassadors was created almost four years ago.

Spearheaded by Michelle Masters, its members are people in the business community, individuals and organisations who love Carlisle, support it as a Cumbrian centre of business, tourism and culture, who want to benefit from a strong and influential network, and are interested in making a difference for the future growth and development of the city.

The scheme has begun to significantly change perceptions of the city and raise the ancient city’s profile, locally, regionally and nationally.

Like their adult counterparts, Carlisle Young Ambassadors is already becoming a network of like-minded young people who want to play a full and active role in the future growth and development of their city.

The idea was highlighted at a meeting of Carlisle Ambassadors last year and work has been going on behind the scenes to make it a reality.

The youngsters also want the opportunity to put forward ideas that will help attract people to live, work and visit the area.

They want to play a part in encouraging those already living in the area to stay and in persuading investors and developers to see the potential of Carlisle as a place with huge future potential.

Students from local schools and colleges including William Howard School, Trinity School, Austin Friars and Carlisle College attended the initial meeting, which was also attended by representatives of organisations and local government bodies including Inspira, Carlisle Youth Partnership, Carlisle Youth Council, Carlisle City Council and Cumbria County Council.

During the meeting, held last week at Carlisle’s Assembly Rooms, 10 young people, aged between 10 and 22 years, volunteered to form a Young Carlisle Ambassador’s committee.

In the coming weeks, they will meet up to discuss the aims and objectives of the group and to look to work up several project ideas already put forward by members of Carlisle Young Ambassadors.

Mrs Masters, Carlisle Ambassadors, project lead, said: “This group of young people recognise the potential of a Carlisle Young Ambassadors group and that they have a tremendous opportunity to develop and shape the City for their futures.

“They understand that by working together in partnership with their adult counterparts that we can get things done and help the city of Carlisle compete like never before and I would encourage other young people from across the district to get involved to make a difference for their futures.’’

Robbie Cameron, a year 13 student at William Howard School, and a member of Young Ambassadors, has already benefitted from being a part of the group.

He said: “Meeting members of the business community and seeing the employment opportunities in the local area has given me the confidence to apply for a career in business management.

“The application process itself was easier too, mainly because of the invaluable experience gained from attending Young Ambassador meetings and the networking opportunities they have presented.

“I hope the extension of the Carlisle Ambassadors through Carlisle Young Ambassadors will encourage other young people to look at the opportunities available in Carlisle.

“Not only that, but it will also help them to make a positive future for themselves and for the city.”