Opposition councillors insist a new approach to attracting inward investment is needed for York, following the failure of the city’s bid to be the HQ of new railway body GBR, the stalling of the Roman Quarter and Bootham Park Hospital developments, and the failure of ‘levelling up’ bids that could have brought millions into the city.

Conservative group leader on the city council Cllr Paul Doughty said one strategy would be to ‘lever the opportunities that will come with a Mayor for York and North Yorkshire in the regional devolution deal that all parties have signed up to’.

But he added that York could also use the news that Cabinet Office jobs will be coming to the city as a starting point to attract further investment.

“We need to ‘big up’ our selling points: a willing workforce keen for better paid employment and diversification of employment opportunities and a location situated conveniently midway between London and Edinburgh with excellent rail communications north-south and improving Transpennine links beyond Leeds to Manchester and the North West with the upgrades that are taking place,” he said.

READ MORE: Opposition parties call for 'complete reset' in York

Labour leader Cllr Claire Douglas added that York needed to ‘make it easy’ for the right type of growth to come to the city.

“York needs a clear vision of the type of city it wants to be in the future with an ethical investment strategy that attracts investors who are interested in steady returns over 30-50 years,” she said.

“Investors who are committed to the long-term future of York want to fulfil their climate obligations, respect their staff, and pay decent wages.

“Time and again businesses tell us that what is holding them back is lack of clear leadership, space to grow, genuinely affordable housing for employees, and a decent transport network that gets people to jobs.”

Liberal democrat and Green councillors who between them have run the city council for the last years stress that they have seen some real achievements in the last four years – including progress son York central and the York local plan.

But they agree more could be done to attract investment to the city.

Liberal democrat leader Cllr Nigel Ayre said his party would introduce a Tourism Levy to invest in frontline services, local communities and businesses once the legislation was in place to allow this, he said.

Liberal democrats would also ‘seize the opportunity of York Central’ to deliver major investment in the city and more and better paid jobs, and would support local businesses to ‘deliver more green jobs and green the local economy’.

Green leader Cllr andy D’Agorne added: “For us a key policy is to promote inward investment that is consistent with our key strategies for tackling climate change and the cost of living emergency.

“To do that we need a very clear vision for the future of the city including a detailed prospectus for the types of green jobs we want to attract.”