IT is one of the oldest and proudest ceremonial roles in the UK – but now the image and home of the Lord Mayor of York could be about to get the make-over treatment.

Leading councillors are to be urged to set up a group to look at ways in which the profile both of the official position and the city’s Mansion House can be raised.

As well as promoting the Mayoralty and the Civic Party more widely, it would also explore how the Lord Mayor’s residence in St Helen’s Square could be used to bring more money into York’s coffers through staging events and sponsorship.

The proposed Mansion House And Mayoralty Advisory Group is set to be discussed further when City of York Council meets on Thursday, to debate a report by the authority’s interim head of civic, democratic and legal services, Alison Lowton, recommending that it gets the go-ahead.

“The office of Lord Mayor in York is traditionally the second oldest in the country after London, and the Mansion House is officially the formal residence of the Lord Mayor,” says the report.

“There is much work to be done now to maximise the potential of the Mansion House in its own right as a corporate and events venue and a building of historic importance, as well as it being the official home of the Lord Mayor.”

The report said a previous advisory group dealing with Mansion House issues, set up during the 1990s, was never formally established as part of the council’s structure and no longer exists, but says it should now be revived with a more focused approach. “Group leaders have been consulted on the establishment of this advisory group, as have the current and former Lord Mayors,” it said.

“All are agreed that such a group would now be appropriate to assist in further development work with the Mansion House and the profile of the Lord Mayoralty.

“Establishing this group would most directly contribute to the council’s aspirations to be a City Of Culture, in terms of providing greater access to the Mansion House, and to be a more effective organisation in terms of how we promote and manage our business, making greater use of the Lord Mayor in their ambassadorial role.”

Officers have suggested the current Lord Mayor, Coun John Galvin, should chair the group and it should also comprise the deputy Lord Mayor, four former Lord Mayors and three councillors.