Assistant Director - Economic Development Regeneration Tourism and Skills

We are looking to recruit a new Assistant Director for Economic Development Regeneration Tourism and Skills.

Scarborough coast at sunset

Welcome from Nic Harne

Welcome, and thank you for your interest in learning more about North Yorkshire Council and this exciting role.

As the Corporate Director of Community Development, I believe this is an unrivalled career opportunity for an ambitious and experienced leader at a pivotal point in our history. In April 2023 the eight councils that served North Yorkshire unified to create geographically the largest council and third largest unitary within the country, and earlier this year the brand new York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority was created. With the new Mayor already in place, this role affords a unique platform to work closely with the Combined Authority to support the Devolution Deal for York and North Yorkshire and to help take full advantage of what devolution will bring to the region.

North Yorkshire is unique - internationally valued for its quality of place, but with a scale and industry that make it integral to the North of England. The county’s landscapes, culture and local businesses already make the region a fantastic place to live, work and do business, and with the new investment and powers unlocked by the Devolution Deal there are even more opportunities for North Yorkshire to achieve more for its residents and business alike.

The investment priorities for North Yorkshire will build on its existing strengths, and significant funding has already been secured for the delivery of several major regeneration schemes including from the Transforming Cities Fund, Towns Fund, Levelling Up and UK Shared Prosperity Fund- making it the perfect time to join the team. I am looking for a strategic leader with energy, vision and enthusiasm to ensure we capitalise on these opportunities, who has the ability to develop priorities and spearhead the charge for North Yorkshire. 

The breadth and range of work will provide you with the opportunity to influence and lead at a large scale and also to network with many colleagues across the region. With strong proven management skills, you will inspire your team and drive success. 

Here are just some of the reasons why it is such an exciting time to join us:

North Yorkshire Council has the ambition to be the most local large council in the UK - geographically it is already the largest, and the third largest unitary authority.  I am looking for a leader who will really get under the skin of the region, someone who is curious to get to know its’ many assets and its’ far reaching communities – and who will understand what is important to them. In this role you will forge key relationships with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure that the redevelopment and investment is targeted effectively so that it can realise the maximum potential.

The area covered by this role geographically spans the whole of North Yorkshire, starting from the coastal areas at Whitby and Scarborough where work is already underway to drive forward regeneration via schemes at Scarborough’s West Pier; providing new training and employment opportunities by delivering  a  modern maritime training hub at Whitby Harbourside and promoting a major investment opportunity in Scarborough North Bay.  The area goes as far west as Catterick, which will benefit from £20m levelling up funding helping to regenerate the heart of Catterick Garrison, the largest British Army garrison in the world.

Harrogate and Knaresborough are key locations nearer to the border with Leeds and are ideally poised for further business growth - this is a thriving area where the economy is diverse, including a strong financial and professional services sector, and a prospering visitor economy, with a vibrant entrepreneurial culture. Harrogate Convention Centre alone is a significant driver for the economy and tourism.

Due to North Yorkshire’s size and location, the county’s infrastructure is critical to providing connectivity in the North of England from north to south and from east to west. It is already home to major transport corridors - the fastest growing part of Yorkshire and Humber around Selby has a wealth of strategic employment sites close to the M62 and A1M, and six major transport sites are already under construction at Gascoigne Wood, Sherburn 2/42, Kellingley, Eggborough, Harrogate J47 and Junction 53 - Scotch Corner. These strong transport links will support future development in the region but more investment will be needed.

North Yorkshire is an enterprise economy with nearly 32,000 small businesses, and more than 9,000 new businesses forming over the last 12 months.  Skipton, Malton and Pickering are examples of some of the many distinctive market towns which are a cradle for entrepreneurs and are perfectly poised to help grow the SME sector.  Looking to develop more space to help all of these business thrive will be critical to the ongoing success of the region.

Tackling climate change and enhancing biodiversity are of huge importance to the region, and York and North Yorkshire’s Routemap to Carbon Negative seeks to introduce carbon reduction initiatives across the county so as to reach net zero by 2034, and net negative by 2040.

To sum up, North Yorkshire has plenty to celebrate, but there is still a lot to be done and more to achieve. The Devolution Deal provides a fantastic opportunity to put North Yorkshire at the forefront of economic development and become a true ‘rural powerhouse’ in supporting the UK’s key business sectors, growing small and medium enterprises, improving regional connectivity, leading the country’s activity towards net-zero and enhancing the UK’s visitor economy. 

This is where you come in. If you have the experience, passion and ambition to join us and help lead at this pivotal time in our history, then I would like to hear from you. In return you will be welcomed by dedicated and supportive colleagues who appreciate everything North Yorkshire has to offer and who want to do their very best for the region. We are a modern employer and we operate in a hybrid way which means you will use technology to work from a variety of locations including local area offices, head office and from home, working where it is most effective. 

If you are interested in joining us and are inspired to help lead the next phase of our journey, I look forward to your application. In the meantime, following an initial conversation with one of my colleagues in our Resourcing Solution team, we would be delighted to discuss this opportunity with those who might wish to learn a little more. Candidates can either speak with me or with the current interim, who is the retired former corporate director from Buckinghamshire Council, Ian Thompson.

Nic Harne, Corporate Director of Community Development

Nic Harne and views of Whitby

The role

Job title: Assistant Director - Economic Development Regeneration Tourism and Skills

Salary:  £95,050 - £105,438 plus relocation package

Location: Northallerton - Hybrid

You are responsible with colleagues and Management Board to ensure the success of the new Council following recent local government reform and introduction of the new Mayoral Combined Authority. This requires strategic leadership to steer the Council through a significant transformation programme. 

You will be responsible for integrating and embedding standard operating models with newly integrated the teams leading them through the transformation, creating culture that aligns to the Council values. 

As the Assistant Director for Economic Development & Regeneration you will work closely with the Mayoral Combined Authority to support the Devolution Deal for York and North Yorkshire.   

What will you bring to the role?

To be successful in this role you will have the ability to deliver on all of the following :

You will lead and manage the Economic Development, Regeneration, Tourism and Skills service to deliver an excellent, co-ordinated service across the sub region of York and North Yorkshire by supporting the Council and City of York developing high quality relationships with business and higher education. You are responsible for ensuring effective implementation and compliance with legislative requirements and policy for these cross-cutting functions of the Council and you will deliver improvements and efficiencies across the range of services through innovation, applying good practice and workforce engagement.

You will seek to promote and develop a “shared service approach” to economic development for the benefit of the sub region and all parties.  

You will work closely with colleagues in planning, housing, transport, and highways to ensure that their strategies align with the economic strategy for the region. 

You will lead on the Destination Management Plan for North Yorkshire, working closely with the AD for Culture and wider partners to promote North Yorkshire as a region to visit, invest and live in. As the Assistant Director you will develop and lead the Council’s assets to support agreed objectives, bringing together the teams across North Yorkshire and transforming the service

You will lead the delivery of key regeneration projects across the County, as well as key work programmes such as the shared prosperity fund. 

As Assistant Director you will build relationships and engage with partners in public and private sectors to deliver quality outcomes.  You will lead and develop relationships with key stakeholders specifically with national government departments (primarily BEIS, DHLUC), government agencies including Skills Funding Agency, Homes England, Highways England, UKTI, Innovate UK and regional partners including local authorities across the North Yorkshire and East Riding at CEO and Leader level, further and higher education and business networks.

As a senior manager you will deliver constant improvements across the range of services through innovation, applying best practice and promoting customer care improvements.

What will you gain in return?

You will be joining one of the largest councils in the country at a unique moment – here is an opportunity not only to progress and enhance your own career, but to also gain a huge amount of job satisfaction and create a lasting legacy. You will have the opportunity to work with the Combined Authority to support the Devolution Deal for York and North Yorkshire to help take full advantage of what devolution will bring to the region. North Yorkshire Council has the ambition to be the most local large council in the UK - geographically it is already the largest, and the third largest unitary authority.  This is a pivotal and high profile role which will provide a fantastic platform for any ambitious leader.

Montage of the exterior of Whitby Maritime Hub and a whalebone arch.

Our vision

We want to build on North Yorkshire’s natural capital, strong local economy and resilient communities, to improve the way local services are delivered and support a good quality of life for all. The council plan 2023 to 2027 sets out the council’s vision, ambitions and priorities for the next four years, as well as the approach we will take to achieve them.

Montage of an 3D architect building render, next to a canal barge.

Why work for us

We are strong performing authority, with supportive political leadership, and talented teams providing the platform to have a fulfilling, challenging and successful career in a truly stunning place.

A recent peer challenge found that the council is a good place to work, with strong leadership and a loyal and committed workforce who have access to well-regarded training and development.

We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice, offering a range of training and development opportunities and career progression allowing you to manage your own development journey and empowering you to control your career. Your career can change with your life here in North Yorkshire.

We positively encourage flexible working and we provide you with the technology you need to work from a wide variety of locations.

We believe in the importance of inclusion, which is why we are always working towards being a more diverse, equitable and inclusive employer. Find out more about our equality, diversity and inclusion work on our working for us page. You can bring your whole self to work, and we will support you to be the best that you can be.

Our values, behaviours and ambitions underpin everything we do.

In addition to your salary, we offer a range of great benefits to help you financially make life a bit easier. These include:

  • a local government, career average employer contribution pension scheme
  • family friendly leave
  • salary sacrifice schemes
  • modern flexible working practices
  • learning and development packages
  • career advancement opportunities
  • employee discount benefits including shopping and gym discounts
  • green car and cycle schemes
  • travel loans

You can find more information on the range of benefits we offer on our total rewards page.

Our relocation package

If you are considering relocating to North Yorkshire we provide a comprehensive relocation benefits package.

This features up to £8,000 to cover reasonable costs such as:

  • removal expenses
  • storage costs
  • legal and estate agent fees
  • travelling expenses
Montage of a computer-generated architect model of a street scene development.

Living and working in North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire is a thriving county that adapts to a changing world and remains a special place to live and work.

North Yorkshire's natural beauty is captured in its three areas of Outstanding Natural Parks, National Nature Reserves, stunning coastlines, scenic rural villages, vibrant cities and market towns. North Yorkshire really is a beautiful, thriving and special place to live and work, rich in heritage and culture.

North Yorkshire features significantly in the ten best places to live in the UK in Halifax Quality of Life Survey. The Quality of Life index aims to quantify where living standards are highest in the UK by ranking local performance across a range of indicators. Local areas featured in the top ten included Richmond, Selby and Malton.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics bulletin positions North Yorkshire as the safest place in England with extremely low crime rates.  

In addition, the county benefits from excellent road and rail links, with easy access via the east coast mainline, the A1(M) and A19. Leeds, York, Newcastle, Durham and Teesside are all easily commutable, and London and Edinburgh are just two hours away by train.

From its lively cities to pretty villages, rolling countryside and grand coastline, North Yorkshire has so much to offer including great employment opportunities for your family members, along with a higher proportion of schools which are good or outstanding compared to national figures.

You can find out more about what North Yorkshire has to offer on the No place like North Yorkshire website.

Watch this video to see more of what North Yorkshire has to offer and what it will feel like to be working across Scarborough, Richmond and Northallerton.

Key dates

Closing date: Midnight Monday 17 June
First stage assessment event: Tuesday 9 July - in person at the offices of North Yorkshire Council, Northallerton
Final interview: Thursday 11 July - in person at the offices of North Yorkshire Council, Northallerton

Contact us and apply

For an informal confidential discussion about this opportunity, please contact:

Sarah Hunter 

Penny Keatings

Please submit one Word document that details a comprehensive CV, including current salary, and a supporting statement outlining your suitability for the role.

Applications should be emailed to

Read advice on making your application

It is important that your written application fully addresses the experience criteria as detailed in the person specification.

You should include contact details for at least two referees, one of whom must be your current or most recent employer or engager. If you specifically do not wish referees to be approached without your permission, please indicate this. We will remove your personal details from your application on receipt to enable anonymised shortlisting, therefore it is important that your application is made using one Word document. Please do not send PDF versions.

Please ensure that you have included both your work and home telephone contact numbers and e-mail addresses where applicable.

We believe in the importance of inclusion, which is why we are always working towards being a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive employer. You can find out more about our equality, diversity and inclusion work on our working for us page.

This is a politically restricted post.

We are committed to directly recruiting staff and will not accept applications nor services from agency suppliers.