Next iteration of Welcome to Yorkshire needs to show better respect for public money - The Yorkshire Post says

The revelation that collapsed tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire owed creditors more than £2m when it went into administration showcases how entrenched the organisation was into the region’s institutions.

Among those it owed money to include pension funds, local authorities and HM Revenue and Customs, as well as hotels, energy firms and telecommunications providers.

By far its largest creditor was North Yorkshire County Council to which it owed £1.3m in regard to the North Yorkshire Pension Fund it administers.

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While the fund has assured members that everyone who has contributed to the fund that their money is safe, the wider pot of cash owed looks likely to take quite some time to recover.

Pic by Asadour Guzelian

Administrator Armstrong Watson is now in the process of disposing of company assets such as its brand name, website and rights to the Tour de Yorkshire, but the precise amount that will be returned is yet to be confirmed. The likelihood is that most of these creditors will not receive the full value of what they are owed.

At a time when both the public and private sectors are wrestling with the sizeable damage that the pandemic and current living cost crisis have brought to their door, these financial losses will prove unwelcome to say the least.

The largesse and profligacy of Welcome to Yorkshire has been a matter of public record for some time and ultimately proved to be the final blow which took the agency to the wall, despite concerted efforts to save it.

The focus must now be on what replaces it.

The next iteration of Welcome to Yorkshire must have its finances ruled with an iron fist and in particular show proper diligence when it comes to the use of public money.

In these uncertain times, the people of Yorkshire deserve nothing less.