No decision on Welcome to Yorkshire funding until Verity investigations complete

Barnsley Council has confirmed its support for Welcome to Yorkshire in the wake of controversy over Sir Gary Verity’s conduct – though a question mark still remains over the council’s future funding for the tourism body.

By Paul Whitehouse
Thursday, 4th April 2019, 8:46 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th April 2019, 8:49 pm
Barnsley Town Hall
Barnsley Town Hall

Welcome to Yorkshire was established a decade ago, under the leadership of Sir Gary Verity who earned his knighthood for bringing the Tour de France opening stage to the county and then capitalising on the success by establishing the annual Tour de Yorkshire event.

But he left the organisation, citing health grounds, as it emerged he was paying back a five figure sum in expenses claimed while in the job. His conduct towards staff was also called into question.

Sheffield City Council, which contributes £50,000 a year to the body, has confirmed its payments are being suspended until investigations into Sir Gary are completed.

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Barnsley Council will make a decision later on the future of the £15,000 a year the authority contributes to Welcome to Yorkshire’s work.

Matt Gladstone, Executive Director for Place, said: “We have assurances from Welcome to Yorkshire that their investigation will be completed thoroughly and within a timely manner. Once we have the outcome of this investigation, we’ll then make an informed decision regarding our £15,000 annual contribution to Welcome to Yorkshire.

“We’re still supportive of Welcome to Yorkshire during this time, and we’re proud hosts of this year’s Tour de Yorkshire in Barnsley town centre on Friday 3 May.”