BASINGSTOKE Consortium has extended its reach across Hampshire by joining forces with another group.

A merger between Basingstoke Consortium and EBP (Education Business Partnership) South, which took place on Friday 26 January, comes as both organisations celebrate their 20 year anniversaries.

Basingstoke Consortium and EBP South provide a range of career guidance, work experience, mentoring, programmes and events for young people.

Dawn Baxendale, chair of the board of at the new Basingstoke Consortium and EBP South, said: “I am pleased to announce that EBP South has joined forces with Basingstoke Consortium. Both organisations will be overseen and managed by our experienced chief executive officer, Cath Longhurst and one board of trustees.

“The merger will allow the organisations to share support services to provide economies of scale and better value for money.

EBP South and Basingstoke Consortium will retain their names and their separate identities whilst collaboratively working to provide more opportunities to improve young people’s futures.

“For Basingstoke, this ensures the continuation of the work carried out by the well-regarded Basingstoke Consortium.”

Both companies began in 1997 operating in their own areas but offering similar services with the aim to inspire and prepare young people for the world of work.

The merger means the companies together have now grown to a team of 43 staff.

Basingstoke Consortium will continue to be based in the town and its staff have been retained.

Cath Longhurst, said: “We have always been aware of the excellent work carried out by Basingstoke Consortium and we are looking forward to building on the existing Basingstoke projects, to increase the number of opportunities to bridge the gap for young people between education and the workplace.”