A JOINT managing director of one of the prominent catering groups in East Lancashire has stepped down to take on an ambassador role.

Celebrity chef Nigel Haworth announced he is taking on a more ‘weekly’ role with the Northcote group due to the ill health of his wife, Kath.

Mr Haworth ran the group with co-director Craig Bancroft, which covered Northcote Manor, a luxury 26-bedroom country house hotel in Ribble Valley, Cafe Northcote in the Cathedral Square, Blackburn, Ribble Valley Inns which has a variety of pubs across East Lancashire and Northcote At The Rovers in Ewood Park.

Mr Haworth said he would remain a share holder and be involved with the group.

He said: “Due to my wife being unwell, it was my decision to step down as director and take on an ambassador role.

“It means I will be involved with the business on a weekly basis.

“Running such an amazing group involves a seven day commitment and at the moment I cannot do this.

“Northcote is such a fantastic group with some very talented people who are employed there.

“I will still be involved and hoping to continue the great work Northcote produces across its different areas.”

Mr Haworth began his culinary career at Rossendale Catering College before working in hotels and restaurants across the world, including the The Grosvenor Hotel in London.

This year his Langho-based hotel and restaurant retained its Michelin star for the 21st year running.

In 2001, Mr Haworth created Obsession, an annual gastronomic event in which chefs from around the world take the reins in the Northcote kitchen to create a celebration of great food and wine.

He has appeared on television shows such as Yes Chef, Saturday Kitchen, MasterChef and Great British Menu, which he went on to win in 2009.

Mr Haworth has won several awards including Special Award at the Craft Guild of Chefs 2017, An Honorary Fellowship at the University of Central Lancashire, Outstanding Contribution to Tourism at the England North West Tourism Awards 2009 and the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Northern Hospitality Awards 2006.