Business leader is moving on up

Pictured is Howard Lewis
Pictured is Howard Lewis
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A KEY business leader has stepped down from his role.

Howard Lewis has relinquished his position as chairman of the Blackpool Business Leadership Group after three years spearheading the organisation.

Mr Lewis, who is manager of the resort’s Hilton Hotel, has made the decision after taking up a three month secondment which will see him relocate to the Hilton’s London Metropole Hotel.

He said: “I have chaired the leadership group for just over three years and during that time it has grown, and the public and private sector partnership, including working with the council, has improved.

“I will miss being involved in that but I felt the secondment to London meant I could not continue in the role.

“We have still got people talking up for Blackpool in high places and still trying to improve things for the town.

“We have a better voice for Blackpool in terms of its place in Lancashire and the local economic partnership.”

Among the campaigns Mr Lewis has supported in his role has been calls to reduce VAT in the tourism industry to five per cent.

He called for a tourism zone, similar to an enterprise zone, to be created in Blackpool in order to trial the cut.

Mr Lewis also helped bring former tourism minister John Penrose to the resort in November last year, when he visited attractions including the Tower and the Comedy Carpet, before taking part in a question and answer session with local businesses. Among the issues on the agenda were VAT cuts, the return of the political conferences and the electrification of rail links.

Members of the Business Leadership Group are due to meet on Friday to consider who will replace Mr Lewis as chairman.

He has been in charge at the Blackpool Hilton for 10 years.

The four star Hilton London Metropole on Edgeware Road in London boasts 1,054 rooms and is the biggest conference hotel in London.