Farrar has been a key architect of York and North Yorks' devolution deal. Credit: Y&NYCA

Farrar named CEO of York & North Yorkshire

James Farrar, currently interim head of paid service and director of economy at the nascent Combined Authority, has been confirmed as its inaugural chief executive.

Prior to the formation of the Combined Authority in January this year, Farrar was COO of York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and played a prominent role in the CA’s development and devolution deal.

York & North Yorkshire Combined Authority is expected to deliver £112m of investment in 2024/25. This includes a £67m local transport fund, £12.7m for brownfield housing, £10m of green economy investment, £2.9m for skills provision and the annual £18m Mayoral Investment Fund, to be used for mayoral priorities.

David Skaith, the Labour candidate who became the first Mayor of York and North Yorkshire at the May elections, said:

“James’ passion, commitment and understanding of the region stood out in interview and I look forward to building on our already strong relationship.

“This is a key appointment for the Combined Authority and James will lead the Senior Leadership Team, providing the vision and drive to ensure we build a Combined Authority that is trusted and delivers across the region.

“A key first job for James will be to complete the Senior Leadership Team and set out the plans to deliver the ambitions of myself and the wider Combined Authority. We secured a great devolution deal and need to ensure we have the team and resources in place to make a real difference to our communities across the region.”

Farrar said: “Having led the development and negotiation of the devolution deal, I am proud to now have the opportunity to work alongside the Mayor to turn this into reality and make a real difference to the communities across York and North Yorkshire.

“Success will see all parts of York and North Yorkshire benefit and to achieve that we will need to work locally across the whole area. I am committed to ensuring partnership is embedded in our operating model. Born and raised in the region, I am incredibly passionate about the area and have a deep understanding of the opportunities within York and North Yorkshire.”

Farrar’s start date in the new role has not been decided yet, although the CA confirmed that a recruitment process will take place to fill Farrar’s director of economy role.

The chief executive appointment follows the appointment of Mike Russell as the Combined Authority’s director of resources.  Russell, who starts in July, previously worked at the Tees Valley Combined Authority.

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