Marketing Lancashire chief steps down following repositioning move by councillors

County Hall

The chief executive of Marketing Lancashire has stepped down after councillors approved a decision to reposition the organisation so it is more closely aligned to the shared vision set out in the Lancashire 2050 framework.

Rachel McQueen, who joined Marketing Lancashire in April 2018, said now is the right time for her to step away.

Marketing Lancashire was originally formed in February 2004 as the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board but was rebranded as Marketing Lancashire in May 2012. It is wholly owned by Lancashire County Council.

In April this year Marketing Lancashire’s board agreed a series of recommendations that aim to make it more sustainable and make it more closely aligned with the Lancashire 2050 framework.

It is proposed that staff and their duties are transferred to the County Council, which will involve discussions with other Lancashire local authorities including Blackburn with Darwen Council and Blackpool Council as key partners.

Consideration will also be given to how Marketing Lancashire can continue to build on strong relationships to work collaboratively and appropriately with the private sector in the future.

One possibility would be the establishment of a reshaped board that is best suited to support the submission of a local visitor economy partnership (LVEP) application, which are accredited tourism boards that act as a one-stop shop for visitors to find all they need to know about a local area.

Discussions are being set up with the board to work on these options as part of the transition process, recognising the contribution of private sector engagement and leadership.

It is a common model for destination management organisations to be run from within host local authorities. Marketing Lancashire will continue to deliver all the support services for partners, stakeholders and ambassadors that they have done previously, and remain 100% focused on the promotion of Lancashire as a place to live, work, visit, study and invest.

Following agreement by Marketing Lancashire’s board, the proposals were approved by Lancashire County Council’s cabinet at its meeting on May 4.

Rachel McQueen said: “As part of this transition, I have decided that it is the right time for me to step down as chief executive.

“I have been working with the Marketing Lancashire team, with the board and with colleagues at Lancashire County Council to deliver an effective handover.

“I have no doubt that Lancashire remains in a strong position to apply for LVEP status, and I wish the team all the very best of luck as they continue to focus 100% on the promotion of Lancashire as a place to live, work, visit, study and invest.

“I leave Lancashire in the best of hands, and look forward to cheering on from the sidelines as the county continues to go from strength to strength.”

County Councillor Aidy Riggott, cabinet member for economic development and growth, said: “Marketing Lancashire has always been wholly owned by Lancashire County Council and taking this course of action will enable us to direct it so that it is aligned with the shared vision for Lancashire.

“It also helps to ensure our wider commitment to working in partnership for the benefit of the whole county, as set out in the Lancashire 2050 framework.

“Doing this will mean we are all aligned to support projects to get the best for Lancashire.”