West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, along with the universities of York and York St John, has launched a new initiative to give the incoming mayor of York and North Yorkshire the best possible start when her or she is elected in May.

The Devolution Alliance for Business has been created to commission real-time research, by listening to the voices of representatives from major business sectors to canvas their 'key asks' from devolution so that when the mayor is elected, they can hit the ground running in terms of economic policy.

The Alliance convenes a number of business leaders and stakeholders from across York & North Yorkshire and was officially launched at York’s Fairfax House on 6th December 2023. Its membership spans the economic demographic of the region, and each representative will present their own unique challenges, opportunities and asks from devolution.

Researchers will conduct interviews to discover what are the prime priorities for business sectors, to be delivered by the new Mayoral Combined Authority. Once the research and findings have been compiled the Alliance will present this information to the mayoral candidates in order to help them shape their manifestos. Regardless of the political affiliation of the new mayor, business needs remain the same, and this work will hopefully create a positive and productive relationship with the new Mayor and authority going forward.

Sarah Czarnecki said: “I’m confident that the new Business Alliance shows that we are prepared for the new Mayoral Combined Authority.

“We want to put business leads at every level first, and the universities and Chamber are committed to working together with the Mayoral candidates to achieve that”.

Pictured L to R: Andrew Morrison, Mark Fordyce, Bruce Heppenstall, Helen Heraty, Cherie Federico, Andrew Lowson, Sarah Czarnecki, Charlie Lavemai-Goldsbrough, Bob Gammie and Dean Garrett.

*Image: Andy Taylor *