THE new Mayor of York and North Yorkshire has said it was time for the region to ‘shout about how great we are’.

David Skaith, who was elected on May 3, made the comment addressing delegates at UKREiiF, one of the UK’s biggest real estate investment conventions, in Leeds.

The owner of Winston’s of York clothing store in Back Swinegate said investing in affordable homes and public transport would connect a skilled workforce with the region’s unique business sectors, in-turn attracting inward investment.

He said: “We have the skilled workforce and people want to live here, he said. “We have the colleges and universities and we need to keep that next generation here with affordable homes. We need the transport connectivity to get people to our rural and coastal areas and we need the affordable homes.


“We are a new authority and we want to listen. We need an open-door in terms of engagement with the private sector and we can build a long-term conversation from there.

“I’m also fortunate to have a fantastic working relationship with both City of York Council and North Yorkshire Council. They’ve put politics aside in the interest of the region and that’s something investors really want to see.”

Mr Skaith also said he would establish a regular investment forum, intended to link developers and the private sector with the Mayor and York and North Yorkshire’s planning authorities.

The ‘Meet the Mayor Breakfast” on Wednesday was hosted by Yorkshire developers Caddick, and was part of an extensive programme of events at UKREiiF 2024 at Royal Armouries Leeds. Mr Skaith was addressing an invited audience of real estate professionals, developers and representatives of local authorities.

The Mayor also singled out the region’s unique strengths in driving research in agriculture, biotechnology, agritech and food security, and said ‘other regions don’t have that’.

He said research can be implemented in the region’s rural and coastal regions, and highlighted Scarborough-based innovators who are pioneering the growth and harvesting of seaweed for a range of products.

Speaking of a ‘shared vision’ between urban, rural and coastal regions across York and North Yorkshire, Mr Skaith said: “I see huge opportunity. We need to stand out and we need to shout about our combined strengths. Big cities don’t have, and never can have, what we’ve got. Together we can build something brilliant.”

Johnny Caddick, of Caddick Group and Moda, called it a pleasure to host the mayor at the event and hear more about his plans to generate inward investment through considered partnership working across York and North Yorkshire.

He added: “As a developer and investor with a lot of exciting projects coming forward in the region, we’re particularly looking forward to the launch of the Investor Forum, and to working closely together to further boost the region’s reputation on a national and global scale.”