North Yorks combined authority names first CEO

James Farrar

York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority has appointed its first chief executive, James Farrar, who has been serving as Interim Head of Paid Service and Director of Economy.

The Combined Authority, formed by the City of York Council and North Yorkshire Council in January, is a legally recognised, single body designed to use some of the money and powers that up to now have been held by central government.

The Combined Authority will channel £112 million of investment in 2024-25. This includes a £67 million local transport fund, £12.7 million for brownfield housing, £10 million of green economy investment, £2.9 million for skills provision – including the implementation of a devolved adult education budget – and the annual £18 million Mayoral Investment Fund, which will be used for mayoral priorities.

Prior to that formation of the Combined Authority, Farrar was Chief Operating Officer of York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and played a leading role in the development and implementation of the region’s devolution deal, which enables powers and funding to be moved to the region, led by an elected Mayor and the new Combined Authority.

David Skaith, Mayor of York and North Yorkshire, said: “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.”

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.”