Bernstein swaps Olympics for Blackpool regeneration role

Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council, has been appointed as the new chairman of ReBlackpool, the Lancashire town's urban regeneration company.

Sir Howard replaces Sir Peter Hall who stepped down earlier this year to lead a project to extend Blackpool's tram lines to Preston.

In his part-time position, Sir Howard will work with Government and other partners in Blackpool and across the North West to deliver the town's regeneration masterplan.

Blackpool, along with Warrington and Blackburn with Darwen councils, is an associate member of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities.

Sir Howard said: "Blackpool is a regional priority and it's a privilege to be part of the team that will drive forward ambitious plans for this strategically important North West town. The regeneration programme is challenging by any standards but I'm happy to share my experiences gained through my work on equally ambitious projects in Manchester. A core objective is to maximise the area's contribution to the regional economy and I want to make this vision a reality.

"With regret I have resigned from the board of the Olympic Delivery Authority to ensure I am not over committed and that my main focus of work can continue to be for the city of Manchester. I'm sure the project will go from strength to strength and I'm confident the games will be a fantastic success for London and the whole of the UK."

Blackpool lost out to Manchester for the right to build a super-casino as part of the Government's expansion of gaming in the UK but ultimately neither gained as the policy was abandoned when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister.

Doug Garrett, chief Executive of ReBlackpool, commented: "We are delighted by the appointment of Sir Howard. We are now moving from planning into the crucial phase of delivering and implementing Blackpool's masterplan and Sir Howard will play a key role in helping ReBlackpool achieve this. Sir Howard has a proven record in delivering major regeneration projects and his skills and experience will now be used to lead and push forward development in Blackpool."

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