A HOTELIER will be championing the city's independent businesses as the new chair of Indie York.

Rebecca Hill has been appointed to lead the not-for-profit business association which was set up after the 2015 floods to support the city's small businesses.

Johnny Hayes who has been the chair since the group was founded with just 30 members has stepped down.

Rebecca who has been an active member of the steering committee said she was delighted to be voted into the role.

She is keen to attract more members, collaborate with other York organisations and work with stakeholders.

"My partner and I run Galtres Lodge Hotel and Forest restaurant on Low Petergate, and we are so proud to be a member of Indie York alongside so many wonderful, diverse, dynamic and exciting independent businesses.

"All of us on the steering committee were so sorry when Johnny decided to step down as chair, however after six years in the role, we all agree that he deserves the break.

"Nobody will be able to fill Johnny’s shoes, but for the past few weeks we have been working on a strategy to ensure that Indie York continues to thrive. "

She added: "The steering committee share a wide range of expertise and after a tough 12 months we all remain dedicated to supporting York’s Indies through recovery and beyond.”

Johnny said: "Rebecca is a really excellent and hard-working person who will, without doubt, help to move Indie York forward into the future.

"I am sure she will do a great job and will be supported by all concerned."

Indie York now has more than 200 members in all sectors.