North Yorkshire’s future; three key lessons – The Yorkshire Post says

IT is a sobering thought that North Yorkshire’s tourism and hospitality sector is set to lose 20,000 jobs at its busiest time of year.

The number of tourism and hospitality jobs in North Yorkshire is larger than the population of Northallerton.

Evidence that the Covid-19’s economic contagion is just as damaging, and distressing, as the virus itself, it is also encouraging that plans to rebuild the economy are taking shape.

And their initiative – and which is being replicated elsewhere – is a reminder that the Government and local government will need to work in tandem on local recovery plans; there are no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions.

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However, there are now some common themes. The first is work on preparing tourism venues and visitor attractions to reopen needs to be accelerated after Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, said the Covid risk threat had reduced.

Tourism and hospitality are crucial to York's economy.

Time is of the essence – the reopening of non-essential shops this week, as well as the resumption of football and horse racing, took weeks of detailed planning and the small detail really does matter when it comes to the country’s public health.

Next is North Yorkshire’s desire to diversify its economy and view the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity for change and ensure the area’s fortunes are not dependent on one sector’s success and failure.

Though tourism will always be the dominant industry, the expansion of green energy projects could be the catalyst for a new era of high-skilled jobs that, in turn, bring new investment. This should be encouraged.

And, finally, the insightful work of York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership shows that rural areas do matter – 20,000 jobs is larger than the population of a town like Northallerton – and that this must not be overlooked by the Government, or those leaders here now pursuing a more fragmented approach to devolution.

As such, the need for closer co-operation between national, regional and local political and business leaders has never been greater. Or more important.

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.

Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.

And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.

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Sincerely. Thank you.

James Mitchinson