Economy & Place Policy & Scrutiny Committee

11 March 2020


Make it York’s Economic Development Priorities for 20/21



1.        This paper invites the scrutiny committee to comment on the broad priority areas to be included in the Council’s service level agreement (SLA) with Make it York (MIY) for 2020-21.

2.        Following consideration by this committee, a report will be taken to a decision session of the Executive Member for Economy and Planning in April.


3.        The committee is invited to provide feedback on the draft priority areas set out in paragraph 6.


4.        MIY was set up in 2015 with the aim of increasing the city’s profile as a destination for living, visiting, studying, and doing business.  The company was tasked with increasing business investment and visitor spend in the city and enhancing the profile of York’s cultural offer.  MIY’s current business plan expresses this in four strategic priorities:

·        City positioning and profile-raising

·        Network-building and inward investment

·        Ensuring an exciting city-centre

·        Delivering the cultural strategy

5.        A contract between the Council and MIY sets out the specification, service standards and funding arrangements.  The current contract runs to 31 March 2021.  Schedule 1 of this contract (often referred to informally as the SLA) is reviewed each year and sets out agreed priorities for the following year.  These priorities are formally agreed by the relevant Executive Members and then form the basis of MIY’s business plan.

Priorities for 2020/21

6.        The following priorities are proposed in the area of economic development:

a)   Sector Development – develop, in close consultation with key businesses, sector development plans setting out current and planned provision on:

·          Key account management, networking and communications

·          Business support, including on low carbon/sustainability and finance

·          Skills, apprenticeships and training

·          International trade & investment, including key markets, work with other regions and the DTI offer

·          Premises & infrastructure needs for the agreed priority sectors – Financial & professional services (including Fintech), Rail engineering, Digital & ITC, Biotech and scientific

b)   Business Support – participate on behalf of the City in LEP business support programmes, and coordinate a broad business support network focussing on existing private sector providers with the aim of increasing uptake by York’s businesses of independent and impartial business support.

c)   Inward investment, trade andexports – with LEP, pan-northern and national agencies, respond to inward investment enquiries, and promote trade and export, keeping CYC fully informed of developments.

d)   Business events – develop and deliver a programme of business events, including an annual York Business Week, that enable York businesses to come together and be kept abreast of latest developments.

e)   Support the Council’s Economic Growth Team to develop the York Economic Strategy - respond to the needs of businesses and residents in the City of York Council.

f)     City Narrative – in conjunction with CYC and the appointed agency, promote the City Narrative project with city leaders, working closely with the CYC Communications and Economic Growth Teams, building understanding across the city of the toolkit and narrative filter, and growing its capacity to provide leadership to the project in the future.

g)   Markets – manage the markets for the Council in line with the Market Charter.  Run a stakeholder process, to be approved by the Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning, to produce an ambitious vision for the market to make it a high quality destination for local residents and visitors, to be taken back to the Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning - together with a business case for any associated investment, to be fed into the My City Centre initiative.

7.        In addition to these priorities, three priorities will be proposed in the area of culture.  These concern leadership of the cultural strategy, development of an events strategy, and developing an arrangement with city partners for hosting the Unesco designation focal point.

Next Steps

8.        Once these broad areas are agreed they will be written up into reports for April decision sessions for the respective Executive Members and will be enshrined in MIY’s business plan going to the Shareholder Committee.

Contact Details


Charlie Croft

Assistant Director (Communities and Equalities)

Tel 01904 553371


Simon Brereton

Head of Economic Growth

Tel 01904 552814


Chief Officer Responsible for the report:

Charlie Croft

Assistant Director (Communities and Equalities)



Report Approved










Wards Affected: 






For further information please contact the author of the report



Background Papers: None


Annexes: None