The chair of Preston-based firm Marketing Lancashire has stepped down from the role after nearly six years.Advertisement
Businessman Tony Attard OBE DL, founder and Group Chief Executive of Burnley-based Panaz, is stepping down after a period in which the organisation also celebrated his appointment as Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire.
It was followed by the High Sheriff of Lancashire title in 2018, the year he was named Lancastrian of the Year at the BIBAs.
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Tony Attard OBE said: “It has been my privilege to have served this great and historic county with a talented team within ML and in partnership with the professional officers of the county.
“The work undertaken was linked by a common bond of love for our county and a determination to demonstrate, nationally and internationally, that the county has a great deal to offer for work, as a place to live, study, invest in and to visit.
“I will always be a proud ambassador for Lancashire and believe that the county, with the right leadership and vision, has the potential to make great strides in growing the economy further for the benefit of the people who live here.”
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Attard wished Marketing Lancashire, Chief Executive Rachel McQueen and the team the best in their ongoing drive to promote the county with public and private sector partners.
Taking up his role as Chair of Marketing Lancashire on 1 December 2015, Tony said he was looking forward to sharing the county success story more widely to attract business and new investment in the county.
Marketing Lancashire said over the last six years, Attard has worked tirelessly to that end, ensuring that the messages running through their marketing activities were consistent – from 2018 and in partnership with McQueen.
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McQueen said: “Tony has been a fantastic advocate for both Marketing Lancashire as an organisation and Lancashire as a place.
“He has led the board and the executive team through some impressive highs, including showcasing Lancashire at the Houses of Parliament on Lancashire Day in 2018.”
McQueen said he delivered the first nationally funded campaign to attract international visitors to the county. He also established the Lancashire Ambassadors programme, launched by Andrew Flintoff at Samlesbury Hall, and Lancashire’s largest-ever showcase at MIPIM, an international real estate conference, in March 2019.
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But it was the competition for UK City of Culture that Tony saw as an opportunity to elevate the profile and culture of Lancashire, bringing with it a significant investment, employment and legacy.
On Lancashire Day 2019, Tony, as Chair of Lancashire 2025 and Director Debbi Lander, launched a vision for Lancashire 2025 at events in Lancashire and London.
Marketing Lancashire said an ambitious approach received acceptance in the DCMS criteria for applicants. In June this year, Lancashire submitted its bid to the competition. In August, Lancashire was one of a record 20 places in the running for the accolade.
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Sadly, just over a month later, the Lancashire 2025 team was informed the bid would not progress to the next stage of the competition.
On hearing the news, Tony said: “We are naturally disappointed at not making it to the final stage, but to have got the bid this far is testament to the hard work and vision of all those involved.
“The process of bidding has already left a legacy, bringing regional and national media attention to the county, and we intend to build on that profile.”
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There have also been significant challenges to overcome in the last 18 months.
Rachel said: “Tony has worked tirelessly to support the team through the circumstances resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Negotiating the challenges for his own business at the same time, he was always on hand with support and advice, willing to share his wealth of experience, and for this, we are genuinely grateful.
“We wish Tony continuing success with his business ventures and thank him for being a passionate ambassador for Lancashire.
“I am personally very grateful to Tony for giving me the opportunity to join this incredible organisation and for his support for our mission to promote Lancashire as a place to live, visit, study and invest in.”
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The search for a new chair is now underway.
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