Stokesley Show President
Sir Gary Verity – Chief Executive, Welcome to Yorkshire
Sir Gary led the winning bid to bring the Grand Départ of the Tour de France - the world’s largest annual sporting event - to Yorkshire in 2014 and was instrumental in the entire process from start to finish. It has since been hailed as the grandest ever Grand Départ.
The county’s successful hosting of the Grand Départ of the Tour de France, which generated £102 million economic benefit, has now been followed up with Yorkshire’s very own international stage race, the Tour de Yorkshire, broadcast in 180 countries worldwide and attracting some of the biggest crowds in the cycling calendar. The 2018 edition is set to be the biggest yet, with the men’s race lasting four days and the women’s doubling in size to two days.
In September 2016 Sir Gary spearheaded Welcome to Yorkshire’s successful bid to bring the UCI Road World Championships to Yorkshire in 2019 in partnership with the UK Government, UK Sport and British Cycling. Sir Gary sits as a director on the Board of Yorkshire 2019.
Sir Gary has been recognised for his contribution to the county he loves including being knighted in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to Tourism and the Tour De France Grand Départ 2014. In April 2017, he was awarded a top honour by the French Government, a chevalier medal in the Ordre National du Mérite. He has also been named Yorkshire’s Man of the Year in 2014, Yorkshire and Humber IoD Director of the Year 2014 and received Yorkshire and Humber IoD’s Lifetime Achievement award.
Sir Gary has also been presented with honorary doctorates from the University of York, Sheffield Hallam University, Leeds Beckett University and The University of Huddersfield; an honorary degree from The Open University; as well as receiving an honorary Doctor of Letters from York St John University.
Since his appointment as Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire in October 2008 he has successfully raised the profile of Yorkshire at a regional, national and international level. Welcome to Yorkshire has won various national and international awards for its marketing campaigns.
Sir Gary is the Chair of the Great Exhibition of the North Board 2018, former Regional Chair of Yorkshire & Humberside Heritage Lottery Fund and also chaired the Olympics for Yorkshire Committee.
His love of sport extends into his work; he is President of the world’s oldest cricket festival at Scarborough and also on the Board of Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
A passionate Yorkshireman, in his spare time Sir Gary is also an award-winning Dales sheep farmer and lives on a working farm near Leyburn.