A NEW boss has been appointed at York's tourism and business organisation to take charge of its refreshed tourism strategy for the city.

Sarah Loftus, who is currently the chief executive of the Lincoln Business Improvement Group (BIG), has been confirmed as Make It York's new managing director, and will join the team from December.

She will lead on the delivery of its new tourism vision, as well as drive forward the city’s cultural strategy, working with stakeholders and partners across the city to promote York regionally, nationally and internationally.

Make It York is a separate organisation formed and owned by the council to promote tourism and the economy.

Its former boss Sean Bullick, pictured below, left in March this year, having joined two years previoulsy. He said at the time he had decided to move on to a "new challenge".

York Press:

The organisation was given a taypayer-funded bailout by City of York Council at the end of 2020 and, earlier this year, renegotiated its contract with the local authority.

Mr Bullick said, on his departure, that 'running an organisation like Make It York during the pandemic has been difficult' and thanked colleagues for their support.

As part of the council's renewed contract with Make It York, some of its responsibilities have been cut.

The council has taken over responsibility for inward investment - helping to bring new businesses to the city - and economic development, which aims to promote York as a business location.

A graduate of Humberside Polytechnic and University College London, Sarah previously held the positions of corporate director for economic growth at Trafford Council and service director for economic growth and strategic housing for Wakefield Council.

She also had a series of different roles in the six years she worked for Yorkshire Forward culminating in the role of assistant director for the Humber Region in 2008/9.

Greg Dyke, chair of Make It York, said: “We are delighted that Sarah is joining the Make It York team.

"She has extensive experience in both the private and public sectors and she has lived in York part time for some years so she knows the city well.

"Sarah will also bring a wealth of invaluable experience from the work she has done in Lincoln, Wakefield and Humberside.

"We look forward to Sarah coming on board later this year and helping us to shape what is set to be an exciting future for York’s post-covid recovery.”

Sarah said: “I believe I have achieved widespread professional recognition for my work in place management, economic development, regeneration, housing and cultural and community development.

"Joining Make It York is a challenge I very much look forward to and I believe I can bring innovative solutions to help create a strong and effective future for York.”

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.

Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its residents by delivering a range of projects and programmes.