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Martin Long appointed chair

Solicitor Martin Long has been appointed chair of the Blackpool Business Leadership Group.

He replaces Howard Lewis, General Manager of The Hilton, Blackpool, who has chaired the group for over three years and who is now moving to take up a new post within the Hilton Group in London.

Martin is chairman of Napthens Solicitors and heads the firm's Blackpool and Fylde office situated at Whitehills Business Park.

Martin was born and raised in Blackpool prior to reading law at Leeds University. He has worked as a solicitor in Blackpool since 1982. He was previously the senior partner of Cuddy Woods & Cochrane solicitors on Springfield Road, Blackpool, which merged with Napthens in 2007.

Napthens is the largest firm of solicitors in Lancashire with 190 partners and employees.

As chair of the Blackpool Business Leadership Group, Martin will act as figurehead and intends to focus on building its membership, which currently stands at over 80 local businesses.

Martin said: "The BBLG has been an important part of the town's business community for a number of years and its membership has steadily increased during that time as it has become a respected and influential voice for the private sector."

The new vice-chair of the group is David Cam of Pleasure Beach Resort.