Chris Silverwood has been named as the new head coach of Essex, having stepped up to the role in an interim capacity last season, following the departure of Paul Grayson.

The announcement was made at the end of an interview process featuring five short-listed candidates - the former South Africa and Australia coach, Mickey Arthur; the former Kent and Leicestershire wicketkeeper, Paul Nixon; the former Afghanistan coach, Andy Moles, and Stuart Law, the current coach of Bangladesh U19s.

Silverwood, the former Yorkshire, Middlesex and England fast bowler, has been working with the England Lions squad in Potchefstroom this winter. He helped Essex to third place in the second division of the County Championship last summer, having taken over at the start of September with the club in sixth place.

He was the unanimous choice of a selection panel that included Derek Bowden, the chief executive, and David Acfield, the club treasurer, as well as two former Essex and England captains in Keith Fletcher and Graham Gooch, plus Ronnie Irani, the cricket committee chairman, and Wasim Haq, a recruitment specialist.

"I am absolutely over the moon," Silverwood said. "I made my intentions clear at the end of the summer, and I am delighted to get the opportunity to do the job. I passionately want to see Essex be successful. There were some big names on the panel, and to know I've got the support of those guys is immense. There was so much knowledge sat around that table, and to have them pick me out is fantastic."

Essex were consistently one of the most successful limited-overs sides in England under the guidance of Grayson, but they were repeatedly unable to translate that record into trophies.

Quarter-final defeats in the NatWest Blast and the Royal London Cup - as well as a more predictable failed promotion challenge caused primarily by a lack of bowling depth - led to Grayson being removed in late season after Irani was installed as chairman of the cricket committee.

"We are determined to move the club forward, and move on from last season," Silverwood added. "This is a fresh start, and that is shown with the changes we have already made to our pre-season programme. We need to change how we have done things previously, and I am already making those changes. It is a great opportunity."

Bowden said: "Chris Silverwood is a tremendous young coach with the vision, passion and dedication that this club deserves. His work with the England Lions this month, alongside his time spent with other ECB development squads over the past few years, demonstrates how highly regarded he is in the game of cricket. We are delighted that Chris will be leading the side into the 2016 season."

Silverwood played 184 first-class matches in a 16-year career for Yorkshire and Middlesex. He took 577 wickets at an average of 27.41, and also played in six Tests and seven ODIs for England. He has been assistant head coach at Essex since January 2014.