CELEBRITY chef Paul Heathcote is to reveal Lancashire’s appeal to daytrippers as head of a new tourist board.

The restaurateur has been named the new chairman of Marketing Lancashire, with a brief to promote tourism and business in the county.

He said: “There are a lot of things about Lancashire which are overlooked.

"The Ribble Valley, for example, is beautiful and at the coast, Morecambe, just needs a change of image. People are just passing all this by on their way to the Lakes.”

The Michelin-starred chef runs The Olive Press and Heathcote's Brasserie in Preston, and the Longridge Restaurant in the Ribble Valley.

He also sits on the board of Lindley catering business, which runs around 50 contracts including premier league football, rugby and cricket clubs, racing venues theatres and concert halls.

Edwin Booth, chairman of Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: “I think that Paul is an ideal person to lead it. His enthusiasm for Lancashire and business expertise make him an ideal choice for chairman”.

And county Councillor Michael Green, who oversees Lancashire’s economic development said: "Paul is a fantastic choice. He has grown a successful business in Lancashire and is a superb ambassador for the county.”

Established by Lancashire County Council, Marketing Lancashire will be a private sector led board with the objective of helping promote Lancashire as a tourism destination.

It will also promote wider business investment in the county.

The new company will work closely with public and private sector organisations across Lancashire.

The organisation’s next important step will be to appoint a brand new chief executive who will oversee the day-to-day operation of Marketing Lancashire.