Marketing Lancashire appoints chief executive

Ruth Connor, previously managing director of Shearings Holidays, has been appointed as the chief executive of Marketing Lancashire. She will work alongside Paul Heathcote, recently appointed as chairman, to spearhead the organisation’s work to support the visitor economy and attract investment to the county.

Ruth said: “I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to lead Marketing Lancashire and look forward to working with colleagues and businesses, both within and outside the county, to make it a success.

“Lancashire is a fantastic place with a huge amount to offer visitors and investors, but it doesn't always get the recognition it deserves.

“Marketing Lancashire is a new organisation with the task of harnessing that potential and I'm confident we will make a very positive impact over the years to come.”

Marketing Lancashire was created in April 2012, with principal funding from Lancashire County Council worth around £500,000 together with additional support from the public and private sector.

The new organisation succeeds Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board, which was backed by the former North West Development Agency.

County Councillor Michael Green, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Environment and Planning, said: “Ruth's combination of skills and experience made her an outstanding candidate for the role and I'm delighted she has come to Lancashire.”

Prior to her role at Shearings Holidays, Ruth was a director of Gold Medal Travel Group, where she was influential in a successful turnaround of the business that led to a takeover by Thomas Cook.

Previously she held various positions at Rank Group and Bourne Leisure, the latter including a spell as Sales and Marketing Director of Butlins. Originally born in Bolton, Ruth is married and has two young children.

Although Lancashire County Council is its main funder, Marketing Lancashire is also supported by other local councils across the county and raises a significant amount of its budget through commercial partnerships.