Decision on future of Welcome to Yorkshire expected today with board meeting due

A decision on the future of the troubled Welcome to Yorkshire tourism agency is to be announced today.

A private meeting of the Yorkshire Leaders’ Board, which involves the region’s council leaders and two metro mayors, took place yesterday afternoon to discuss the findings of a £25,000 review it had ordered into the tourism organisation’s future.

The idea of the agency, which is a private company but relies on public funding from local councils, being formally moved into the public sector had been suggested in advance of the review, which was carried out by former Wakefield and Calderdale council chief executive Merran McRae.

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It had been expected that an announcement would be made last night following those talks and ahead of a scheduled board meeting of Welcome to Yorkshire today, but it is now due to be published this afternoon.

Peter Box is the chairman of Welcome to Yorkshire

No explanation has been given for the delay.

Additionally, no agenda has been published for today's Welcome to Yorkshire board meeting and it is currently unclear at what time it will take place.

A spokesperson for the Leaders’ Board said last week that Ms McRae’s report would remain confidential, even after a decision is announced.

The spokesperson said it was not possible to say anything about the contents of the report, including what recommendations it is making.

The review has been ordered by Yorkshire and Humber council leaders and metro mayors following a series of reputational and financial crises affecting the agency, which is currently without a chief executive.

Welcome to Yorkshire has been conducting its own parallel review of future governance arrangements in which it has been seeking the views of private sector members.

The organisation is currently without a chief executive following the departure of James Mason last year and its chairman is former Wakefield Council leader Peter Box.

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