Mike Appleton, former managing director of English Partnerships and director of AMEC Developments, has been appointed chairman of the Fylde Coast Economic Development Company.

The company is being established by the four local authorities of Blackpool, Fylde, Wyre and Lancashire County Council, as well as the North West Regional Development Agency and the Homes and Communities Agency, to speed up economic development in the region.

The body will subsume Blackpool’s existing urban regeneration company, ReBlackpool. ReBlackpool chief executive Doug Garrett will move into a role supervising destination management. Chair Sir Howard Bernstein will no longer be chair of ReBlackpool once it has been subsumed into the new company.

The Fylde Coast Economic Development Company was agreed in a multi area agreement signed in October 2009. Its plans will be published in a three year business plan and the company is due to come into existence on 1 April 2010.

Appleton, who is currently a director at ReBlackpool and a member of the statutory planning committee of the Olympics Delivery Agency, was educated at Arnold School in Blackpool.

His most recent role was as executive director at Cibitas Investments. He said: “Testing economic times and greater competition for public and private funding requires a highly coordinated leadership response from the public sector and one that is based on business principles. This is what the EDC for the area will add leading to an increase in overall income and well being for the area.”

Appleton will spend four days a month at least working for the company and is currently working on recruiting a chief executive and establishing the company.