GARY Verity, the man credited by many with bringing the Tour de France to Yorkshire, has been honoured by the University of York.

The Welcome To Yorkshire chief executive joins Liz Wilson, chief executive of York Theatre Royal, along with Nobel laureates, authors, scientists, humanitarians, and other influential people in Yorkshire who have received honorary degrees this week.

Mr Verity, who took on the role in 2008 and is also chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and Humber Committee, has raised the profile of Yorkshire on a national and international level.

The award-winning Dales sheep farmer who lives on a working farm near Leyburn boasts a strong record of leadership ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to large-scale transformations within FTSE100 companies, including turning four years of losses into profit at Bradford and Bingley's retail property services arm.

Liz Wilson has been an active member of the city's cultural community since her appointment at York Theatre Royal in December 2009, helping to promote York's contemporary cultural strengths and working to attract a more diverse audience.

Under her leadership the theatre is undergoing a £4million refurbishment and has one of the busiest education and community departments in the country, with a thriving youth theatre and the nationally recognised TakeOver festivals.