Ex-Wakefield Council chief executive to lead £25,000 review into future of Welcome to Yorkshire

A £25,000 review into whether troubled tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire should be moved into public sector control will be led by former Wakefield and Calderdale Council chief executive Merran McRae, The Yorkshire Post can reveal.

Former Wakefield Council chief executive Merran McRae is to lead the review.
Former Wakefield Council chief executive Merran McRae is to lead the review.

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.

Ms McRae’s appointment through her company Finnbo Ltd has been confirmed by the Yorkshire Leaders’ Board ahead of today’s board meeting of Welcome to Yorkshire, who are conducting their own parallel review of future governance arrangements.

Welcome to Yorkshire’s chairman is former Wakefield Council leader Peter Box. The organisation currently has no chief executive following the departure of James Mason in uncertain circumstances in October.A spokesperson for the Leaders’ Board said: “I am able to confirm that a company called Finnbo Ltd has been commissioned to oversee the review, with the lead being Merran McRae.

"There is a small budget of up to £25,000 to cover all costs associated with undertaking the review and any further ancillary work. The exact costs will be dependent on the work undertaken.”

Although Welcome to Yorkshire is a private company, it is largely reliant on public sector funding from local councils across the region.

The review ordered by local council bosses “will seek to develop a series of options” for the future of Welcome to Yorkshire.

It is due to report back in February, around the same time as Welcome to Yorkshire’s review involving local tourism businesses.

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