About Us

Transforming Yorkshire is a small group dedicated to enabling Yorkshire to achieve its full potential by the adoption of devolution in the form of an autonomous regional government for the county. This would be based around a directly elected assembly which would have overall responsibility for public services delivered in Yorkshire.

Our vision is for a socially and economically inclusive Yorkshire; a Yorkshire full of hope and opportunity; a democratic Yorkshire where people are involved in decision making; and an environmentally friendly Yorkshire. In short, we want to Transform Yorkshire into the best place in the world to live, work and play.

Cartwright Hall

We are concerned that the current systems of government and public service delivery in the UK are far too centralized and far more complex than they need to be resulting in both performance and cost deficiencies. We are also concerned by the lack of public investment in Yorkshire.

Given their track record, we cannot rely on the Westminster government to provide for our needs. Local authorities no longer receive sufficient finance to meet even the needs of basic services and, by the government’s own figures, this situation is likely to get even worse in the future so that even essential services could be affected. What will happen to social care? Will there be sufficient funds for education? Will there be any social housing provision?

Yorkshire has a population of over 5 million and an economy of £127BN per annum. Yorkshire is a separate “stand alone” region with its own strong identity, defined boundaries and spirit of community. The Yorkshire economy is diverse, integral and has huge potential. The Yorkshire brand is well known. Yorkshire has the economic scale to prosper. However, when compared with similar regions in western Europe, Yorkshire’s economic performance looks less than adequate. Some regions with similar natural resources achieve twice that level of output.

Because of its local knowledge, local focus and local accountability, we believe that only a regional government would have the capability to leverage economic growth to the extent required to allow the region to pay for all the services it needs. Only a regional government could manage tax policy to the level required to provide services and optimize value for money. Even so, the tasks facing a regional assembly and regional government will be daunting if we are to achieve our vision.

Yes, there may be other options to achieve a similar result, but the fact is that we cannot continue as we have been doing. Time is running out. A regional government may be the option that allows us most flexibility and opportunity.

The group was initially founded in 2017. Key contributors are Stewart Arnold (former leader of the Yorkshire Party); Philip Hardstone; and Richard Honnoraty.

As we are a small group, our governance arrangements are currently informal, though this may have to change as the need arises. We are politically liberal, non-denominational and we receive no external funding.

We believe in cooperation and collaboration as key to achieving our goals.