NICOLA Spence has announced she is leaving her role as chief executive of SCY after four years promoting science in York.

Prof Spence will stepping down from her position at SCY, formerly Science City York, at the end of the month to take on a new role as chief plant health officer at DEFRA.

She said: "I will be sad to leave SCY but am certain that I am leaving the business in good hands.

"I am delighted to be appointed as chief plant health officer at such an important time for plant biosecurity.”

Replacing prof Spence will be Fay Treloar, who will be appointed acting chief executive fromApril 1.

Ms Trelaor has been with SCY since 2006, and in her role as operations director has secured more than £30 million investment for York, enabling the development of new business facilities at both of the city’s universities.

She said: “I wish Nicola all the best in her new role and am delighted to take on this appointment.

"SCY is heavily involved in critical developments in the city, including the BioVale scheme and the future plans for a creative and digital centre at the Guildhall, and I look forward to taking these forward with the City of York Council, University of York and York St John University.”

David Dickson, chairman of the SCY board, said: “In the four years that Nicola has been with us at Science City York she has led the team in making a significant contribution to the bioscience, creative, IT and digital sectors as well as to the development of the BioVale scheme. On behalf of the board, we wish Nicola every success in this very important role at DEFRA."