Well-known restaurateur Paul Heathcote MBE is stepping down from his role as chairman of Marketing Lancashre after three years.

Marketing Lancashire was created in 2012 with investment from Lancashire County Council, replacing the former Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board. Heathcote was the company’s first chair, announced in May 2012.

He appointed a chief executive in Ruth Connor, who was given the remit of supporting the visitor economy and attracting investment into Lancashire.

Over the last three years, Heathcote has seen visitor numbers to Lancashire rise to 63 million a year.

A Visitor Economy Strategy for Lancashire will be launched soon and will provide the county with a five-year plan to attract 70 million visitors by 2020 and increase jobs by 5,000 to over 60,000.


Heathcote said: “It has been a privilege to chair the organisation and oversee the transformation in Marketing Lancashire.  There have been a number of achievements during my term that I am extremely proud of and I believe I am leaving the organisation in a much stronger position than it was three years ago. I have always been a vocal supporter of Lancashire and I will continue to be an advocate for this wonderful county.”

Marketing Lancashire is currently leading on strategic marketing activity for the LEP, with a 12 month PR campaign and a county-wide consultation.

A search for a new chair is underway.