A TOURISM body dogged by controversy following the resignation of top executives and expenses investigations has appointed a new boss.

James Mason, the former chief operating officer of Bradford City Football Club, will become the new chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire in the New Year.

His appointment marks the end of a torrid year for the organisation which saw its former CEO Gary Verity resign in March amid questions over his expenses, followed by the resignation of chairman of the board, Ron McMillan.

Investigations into the culture and expenses at the organisation then took place, with multiple recommendations for improvement.

Mr Mason, 41, describes himself as a proud and passionate Yorkshireman who is looking forward to bringing some ‘energy and further creativity’ to the chief executive role.

He said:“I have been fortunate during my career to fulfil so many of my childhood dreams, from broadcasting on national radio and television, to running my beloved Bradford City Football Club.

“To lead an organisation responsible for putting Yorkshire on the world map is an honour. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I am enormously proud of my Yorkshire roots and I have continued to live in the county even when work has taken me around the globe.

The Northern Echo:

Former CEO Gary Verity

“I’m looking forward to working with the team at Welcome to Yorkshire to continue to build this country’s reputation as the best place in the world to visit, live and work.

"I know the organisation has been through a challenging period and I understand the need for transparency going forward.

“I have every confidence that by working together, and with the support of our partners and stakeholders, we can regain trust and rebuild relationships.

"Looking forward there are opportunities for digital growth and to engage with the Yorkshire community across the world to really showcase the county’s modern-day diversity.

"Welcome to Yorkshire, and Yorkshire as a whole, has a hugely exciting future. I really can’t wait to get started.”

Peter Box, chair of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: "James is a passionate and proud Yorkshireman. He’ll be a hands-on CEO with strong values and integrity who brings with him a wealth of experience in business, marketing and public relations and will be a huge advocate not only for the organisation but for the county.

“This is a new start for Welcome to Yorkshire, and as chair, I’m very much looking forward to working with James to build on the organisation’s fantastic foundations and together, with the team, lead us into a new and exciting future.’

James lives in Guiseley, Leeds, with his wife and two children.

Earlier this year he founded a new café for dementia sufferers in Bradford (Bradford Memories) in association with the Sporting Memories charity, where he is a trustee.