NATIONALLY renowned restaurateur Paul Heathcote MBE has been announced as the new Chairman of Marketing Lancashire today.
Mr Heathcote, a proud Lancastrian who worked under legendary chef Raymond Blanc, has been chosen to lead the new organisation, which replaces the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board.
Paul is a well respected businessman who runs The Olive Press and Heathcote's Brasserie in Preston, and the Longridge Restaurant in the Ribble Valley.
He also sits on the board of Lindley, an outside catering business. This company runs around 50 contracts including premier league football, rugby and cricket clubs, racing venues theatres and concert halls.
He is a food consultant and has appeared on several national TV shows.
Speaking on his appointment, Paul said: "I am delighted to accept the role of Chair. I am proud of Lancashire's past and present, but excited on how I can help shape the future.
"I am confident that I can support and encourage a team to make Lancashire a destination of choice for tourism.
"It has a large part to play in our economy, both private and public sectors will need to rally together to make this happen. It is about being creative, bold and optimistically cautious all at the same time."
Established by Lancashire County Council, Marketing Lancashire will be a private sector led board with the objective of promoting Lancashire as a tourism destination. It will also promote wider business investment in the county, which is crucial to growing a diverse economy.
The new company will work closely with public and private sector
organisations across Lancashire to promote the county as a place to
visit, work and invest.
Edwin Booth, Chair of Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: "Marketing Lancashire is a new organisation looking for a fresh approach to marketing and promoting the county. It will work closely with Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and I think that Paul is an ideal person to lead it.
"His enthusiasm for Lancashire and business expertise make him an ideal choice for chairman.
"He'll be leading a company that will continue to promote the £3.25 billion visitor economy as well as other business sectors which will be key to strengthening Lancashire's economy.
County Councillor Michael Green, cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning, said: "Paul is a fantastic choice as chairman. We wanted to bring in someone of the highest calibre with the right qualities to lead Marketing Lancashire. Paul has grown a successful business in Lancashire and is a superb ambassador for the county.
"The next important step will be to appoint a new chief executive who will oversee the day-to-day operation of Marketing Lancashire.
"The hard work begins straight away with Marketing Lancashire playing an important role in promoting and maximising opportunities surrounding major events such as the 2012 Open Championships in Lytham, the Preston Guild and the 400th anniversary of the Lancashire Witch Trials.
"I look forward to working with Paul to boost business across the county."
All Lancashire County Council press releases are available online at www.lancashire.gov.uk/corporate/news