TROUBLED tourism body Welcome to Yorkshire (WTY) has come under fire with calls for the board to resign after taking up a £500,000 loan from North Yorkshire County Council. (NYCC)

It has been accused of going to the taxpayer for a bailout – but the tourism body insists it is doing its job delivering events such as the UCI World Cycling Championships.

The concern comes amid scrutiny over the operation of the privately run company which was rocked this year by the sudden departure of high profile chief executive Gary Verity.

Lib Dem peer Lord Paul Scriven said: ”It’s become obvious to anyone observing WTY that the board and the present organisation is not fit for purpose.

"We now find they have run out of money and going to the taxpayer for a bailout.

"Enough is enough. The board should resign and be re-established to work along the same line as the public sector.

" It is not the role of councils to prop up a failing private company.”

Richard Flinton, Chief Executive of NYCC said: “In June 2015, our executive members approved access to a secured loan facility of up to £500,000 to Welcome to Yorkshire within a five-year period. It has recently called upon that loan, which it will repay at the market rate of interest.

"The loan was secured against property owned by WTY, so were there to be a default the council’s loan would be protected and there is no risk to taxpayers’ money.”

The loan is secured against the group's previous headquarters in York which have been valued at up to £875,000.

"Welcome to Yorkshire has been praised as the force behind many of the region's tourism flagships including the Tour de Yorkshire, but has come in for increasing criticism over how it is operated and funded.

Keith Stewart, Interim Chair of WTY said: "It’s no secret the challenges that WTY, which is a not for profit organisation, has faced over recent months.

"The company is continuing to deliver fantastic events and campaigns including this week’s UCI Road World Championships.

"The loan enables the business to offset the one-off costs the organisation has faced and allows the company to rapidly progress the recommendations outlined in investigation reports.”