Public meetings to increase transparency at Welcome to Yorkshire

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The Board of Welcome to Yorkshire has confirmed future meetings will now be held in public.

At the first Board meeting of 2020 it was also decided that an additional three meetings will be held around the county each year to increase opportunities for more conversations between Welcome to Yorkshire, its members and the wider public.

Peter Box, chairman of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “As I promised when I became chair, it has now been approved that our future Board meetings will take place in public to increase accountability and transparency.

“I also want to make sure we get out and meet both members and the public more often; so we are planning roadshow-style Board meetings in all four corners of the county so that people can air their views and make sure their thoughts and ideas are heard.”

It has also been confirmed that Jas Athwal will be the new deputy chairman of the Board. Athwal is a successful entrepreneur and prominent figure in the Asian business community who has worked as a business ambassador, consultant and advisor.

Athwal said: “It’s a great honour to be given the role as deputy chair and I’m looking forward to supporting Peter Box as we drive forward improvements at Welcome to Yorkshire.

“We have a great appointment in new chief executive James Mason, and it will be a real privilege to help the organisation to be better and grow stronger.”

The Board has also been further strengthened with the appointment of two new, non-executive directors.

Sarah Tahamtani, a partner and head of the Employment Practice at Clarion and Paul Grace, former head of customer banking at Yorkshire Bank who has 24 years’ experience in banking and financial services, took up their roles on 22 January.

Box said: “I am delighted that we are joined by two experts in their fields. Both Sarah and Paul will bring fresh energy and ideas to the Board.

“When I took the role of chair, in October last year, I wanted to strengthen the Board in a number of key areas, especially financial planning, legal expertise and governance issues. These are the first two appointments, part of a planned programme of recruitment to the Board, with more advertisements going out before the end of February.”

Tahamtani said: “Welcome to Yorkshire has a great track record over the past decade in promoting the county. I am certain that the organisation can move forward positively and continue to build on the success that it has achieved by becoming sustainable, remaining relevant and driving growth in visitor numbers through collaborative working.”

Grace said: “I’m delighted to be joining the board at Welcome to Yorkshire at a time when there is a great opportunity to help shape the future direction of the organisation. I believe I can bring some additional commercial focus, as well as working on strategies that deliver business goals.”