City of York Shareholder Committee – Monday 6th September 2021

Make It York update



As with many other businesses, the last year has been challenging for MIY with revenue streams severely impacted due to Covid. Steps were taken during the year to significantly improve the financial management and reporting at MIY by contracting the services of an experienced interim financial manager and given the fall in revenue due to covid, we have also made major efforts to reduce costs and cut all non-essential spending. During the year we have also coped with the departure of the Managing Director and a number of personnel changes.

However, the Board and staff are optimistic that an improving situation will emerge in the forthcoming year.

Monthly Client Meetings between MIY and CYC have continued to take place and reporting (as detailed in our new service level agreement) is much improved. A Quarterly Narrative has also been produced in advance of each quarterly meeting. A copy of the most recent report is included in the report pack.


The search for a new Managing Director is well underway. An external recruitment company has been appointed to manage the process and they will vet potential applicants before shortlisting candidates for interviews in early September. The interview panel will consist of the Chair and members of the MIY Board, as well as CYC colleagues. One of the initial tasks for the incoming MD will be the production of a post covid business plan to be submitted and discussed at the CYC Shareholder Committee in March 2022.

In the interim, the Chair of MIY has (and will continue) to chair weekly meetings of the Senior Management Team. Weekly ‘all staff’ meetings are also scheduled to ensure the flow of communication continues.

A number of personnel changes have taken place since the last meeting of the Shareholder Committee. The Head of Commercial & Revenue Generation has left the business and the Sales Manager is providing senior interim cover to the team. A new Market Manager has been appointed from Monday 13th September who has many years' experience of managing and developing a busy market. The current Events Manager will take maternity leave from mid-September and a freelance Events Manager will work with MIY for the next 9 months.

Marketing & Communications

The city continues to see a rise in visitor numbers, with footfall almost back to pre-pandemic levels, however these are largely domestic visitors with an inevitable fall off in higher spending foregn visitors. Working with City partners a number of marketing campaigns have been planned and/or have taken place including the ‘Good to Go’, Summer Days Out and Autumn LNER campaigns. A new mobile friendly Visit York website was successfully launched in May, which has received positive feedback from Members and visitors. The Tourism Advisory Board, convened by MIY, continues to meet on a monthly basis. The meetings ensure that the needs of the sector are being listened to and met.

Events and Christmas

Plans are in place for a programme of events for the rest of the year, including: Festival of Food & Drink (September), family friendly Halloween themed events (October), York Design Week (October) and Aesthetica Short Film Festival (November). Preparations for a successful Christmas Market are also underway. The number of chalets at the Christmas market will be less than in previous years, to ensure that the general public and traders feel safe in the city. MIY continues to work with CYC and the Safety Advisory Group (SAG).

Culture and Wellbeing

The cultural sector in York has been hard hit by the pandemic and MIY continues to support the sector wherever possible. The Cultural Leaders Group (CLG) has continued to meet on a monthly basis throughout 2021. The Culture, Wellbeing and Events team have produced an action plan for the York Cultural Strategy, which takes the form of a RAG report with key actions to achieve the outcomes/recommendations within the strategy and a quarterly reporting framework.

Business Team

The 4 members of the MIY Business Team transferred to CYC on the 1st September 2021.


Whilst recognising that the post-COVID world will be different in a number of respects, MIY is confident it will once again become a fully going concern. With a new Managing Director in post, a Service Level Agreement with CYC about to commence, a professionalised team and more refined roles and priorities, MIY is in a strong position to continue to help the businesses of York during the recovery period.