Doug Garrett

Garrett seeks fresh role as Blackpool URC end approaches

Doug Garrett, chief executive of ReBlackpool, the urban regeneration company, is negotiating a new role in the town's recovery as he prepares to hand over to a new agency.

Garrett said he will not be putting his hat in to the ring for the £125,000-a-year post being advertised for chief executive of the forthcoming Fylde Coast Economic Development Company.

Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council, will also step down from his part-time role as chairman of ReBlackpool. A new chairman will be recruited on £20,000-a-year for working roughly four days each month.

ReBlackpool will be wound up in April 2010 and replaced by the Fylde Coast EDC. The new quango is being established to oversee the multi area agreement for the sub-region which was recently signed off by ministers.

Garrett added: "The Fylde Coast role is a wider one that takes in not just town centre development but economic, housing, transport and planning issues in a larger area. I will be staying in Blackpool and will not be going for the new chief executive's job."

Garrett said talks with the local authority and partners about creating a new role for him, still involved in Blackpool's physical regeneration, were ongoing. Details are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

The economic development company is being established by the four local authorities of Blackpool, Fylde, Wyre and Lancashire County Council together with the North West Development Agency and the Homes & Communities Agency.

A three-year business plan is aimed at accelerating the Fylde Coast economy from its poor position at only 73% of the UK average. The founding partners warn that 'our economic forecasts for this MAA show that without intervention GVA per head in 2018 will not even have reached the 2008 level in the North West region.'

The Fylde Coast area has a population of 320,000 and boasts the resort of Lytham St Annes and port of Fleetwood as well as Blackpool.

Recruitment consultancy Gatenby Sanderson has been retained to fill the EDC posts. Closing date for applications is 30 November.

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