Welcome to Yorkshire have 12 months to repay £500,000 rescue loan

The tourism agency were given the loan by the council to prevent their collapse

Stage three of the Your de Yorkshire 2017 (Tim De Waele/Getty)
(Image credit: Corbis via Getty Images)

Welcome to Yorkshire have just 12 months to repay a £500,000 loan given to them by their council, which prevented the tourism agency's collapse in September.

The privately-run organisation, which has received millions in public funding, runs the Tour de Yorkshire alongside Tour de France organiser ASO.

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According to the Yorkshire Post, without the loan Welcome to Yorkshire (WTY) would have run out of money in September and stuff would have been left unpaid. The loan was secured against a £1 million property in York owned by WTY and has to be repaid by November 2015.

The arrangement between WTY and North Yorkshire County Council of the option to take out a loan was put in place in June 2015, and the tourism agency have exercised this option just inside of the five-year limit given to the agreement.

Following the loan from the council, WTY also obtained £1 million of support from North and West Yorkshire councils in October but this agreement, which involved a marketing campaign for the North York Moors, was shelved after concerns over WTY's financial sustainability were raised.

Police investigations are currently ongoing into the Welcome to Yorkshire expenses scandal, after CEO Gary Verity resigned in March earlier this year, citing health reason and admitting he had "made errors of judgement regarding his expenses".

The findings of an independent investigation identified £26,000 of expenses had been claimed for "personal" items without a business justification. £25,800 of this total were claims related to Verity and the 55-year-old has since voluntarily repaid £25,000 to the organisation.

Accountancy firm BDO, the review’s investigators, were unable to evaluate whether £900,000 worth of expenses claimed over six years were “reasonable” due to a lack of transparent spending rules.

Concerns were also raised over Verity’s behaviour towards staff, although Welcome to Yorkshire said these matters were not directly linked to his departure.

A former personal assistant to Verity, Annie Drew, said he would "shout, scream, swear and throw things sometimes at people". She also claimed she was asked to make expense claims in her name on his behalf – an allegation that has been strongly denied.

WTY are currently in the process of making new appointments to their management.

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