Rachel McQueen stands down as council brings Marketing Lancashire operations in-house

By Tim Aldred

12 May 2023

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Rachel McQueen has stepped down as chief executive of Marketing Lancashire as the county council has announced that it will take responsibility for its operations.

Marketing Lancashire was originally formed in February 2004 as the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board and was rebranded in May 2012.

Rachel was appointed chief executive in 2018, having previously held senior roles within Marketing Manchester.

During her time with the company, she played a key role in raising Lancashire's profile nationally and internationally. She launched the Lancashire Business Ambassadors programme, engaging high-profile Lancashire Business Ambassadors and Taste Lancashire Ambassadors, and commissioned the much-admired Andrew Flintoff Lancashire promotional film ‘We Are Lancashire’.

Now Lancashire County Council has taken the decision to take control of Marketing Lancashire, which it owns, allowing for closer alignment with its 2050 framework.

Rachel said: "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 per cent on the promotion of Lancashire as a place to live, work, visit, study and invest.

“I will always be a huge supporter of Lancashire and I would like to thank all the people who have welcomed me, supported me and inspired me over the last five years (not to mention fed and watered me!). Above all, I would like to thank the Marketing Lancashire team for their passion and their dedication. 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.”

Marketing Lancashire's staff and their duties will be 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.

The council said that a strong possibility for the future 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.

The council says that 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.

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

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."

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