County Hall-5

Decision to reposition Marketing Lancashire agreed by councillors

A strategic decision to reposition Marketing Lancashire so it is more closely aligned to the shared vision set out in the Lancashire 2050 framework has been approved by councillors.

Initiated by Lancashire’s 15 councils, the Lancashire 2050 framework is a landmark agreement that aims to bring people together with a shared vision, shared ambition, shared goals and shared priorities.

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

In April 2023, 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 collaboratively 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 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."