BID Board

The York BID Board oversees the delivery of the BID initiatives set out in the BID business plan. As outlined in the Company Articles of Association, the Board is comprised of representatives from levy-paying business and representatives from the local authority and Make It York. The BID Executive Director, responsible for the delivery of the BID business plan, supports the Committee and works with the BID team to implement programmes and projects.

Michael Hjort

Chair - Hospitality Representative

Born and raised in York, Michael is a passionate advocate of the city and is a local high-profile chef and restaurateur who runs two firmly-established award-winning restaurants in the city. Michael directs and manages the York Food and Drink Festival which focuses on the promotion of Yorkshire food and food education and remains passionate about sourcing local produce.  He has served as Director for Visit York Board and as Chairman and Secretary of York Hospitality Association.


Frank Wood

Director - Independant Retail Representative

Frank is joint owner of  the York business R.A. Braithwaite Jewellers,  a company that's been based in York for over 70 years.  He is former Chairman of the York Retail Forum and Chairman of the Institute of Registered Valuers of Great Britain and Ireland.  He is also a member of the National Committee of the National Association of Jewellers and Trustee of the “Centenary Trust” charity.


Neil Setterfield

Director - Retail Representative

Neil has over 30 years of retail experience and has worked with several businesses including Binns Department Stores (House of Fraser). He began his career in finance then followed his passion for retail. Neil joined Fenwick Ltd in 2007 as Store Director in the flagship Newcastle location before moving onto Fenwick York in the same capacity, in 2010.

Philip Bolson

Director - Hospitality Representative

In March last year Philip was appointed General Manager for The Grand Hotel & Spa, Yorkshires’ only 5-star Luxury hotel. He has over nearly 30 years of experience working in all areas the hospitality sector – Pubs, restaurants, retail and Hotels. In 2015 he oversaw the opening of the boutique Hotel Indigo York in Walmgate and the acquisition of several key hotels by the Splendid Hospitality Group (SHG), including the Ibis York Centre.

Colin Crawford

Director - Professional Services Representative

Colin joined the BID board in 2015, representing York’s professional sector. He helped shape the BID company’s five year budget and its legal framework. Colin has lived and worked in York for over twenty years, working in Aviva’s finance team. Since the BID’s launch Colin has been actively involved in managing the company’s finances, as well as its Street Cleaning and Rangers initiatives. 

Robert Onyett

Director - Professional Services Representative

Robert is a solicitor at Harrowells and serves as the firm’s Managing Partner. He is responsible for strategic and operational control of the business, including financial management. He has worked in the city centre for 25 years and has extensive management and commercial experience and vast knowledge of York’s professional businesses.

Phil Pinder

Director - Retail Representative

Phil owns Cuff & Co and has been self-employed and trading for 15 years.  He helped form the Shambles Traders Association and serves as Vice Chair of York’s Retail Forum.  He has volunteered as a Special Police Constable and as Company Secretary for a volunteer-run organisation in Thirsk. He is a champion for enhancing the trading ability for York’s businesses and strengthening its presence in the city centre.

Deputy Council Leader

Director - City of York Council Representative

Ian Gillies has been a Councillor since 2007 and is currently Leader of the Council and the Conservative group with specific responsibility for Finance and Performance. He is also a former Lord Mayor. Ian is currently a board member of Transport for the North, York & North Yorkshire LEP, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and serves on many other committees. Ian is a former policeman and national salesman in the financial services industry, retiring in 2003.

Cllr Keith Aspden

Director - City of York Council Representative

Keith Aspden has been a Councillor in York since 2003 and is currently Deputy Leader of City of York Council and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group. He has specific responsibility for Economic Development and Community Engagement within the Council Executive. Keith’s professional background in education; he is a qualified secondary school teacher and has worked at a number of North Yorkshire schools.

Sean Bullick

Director - Make It York Representative

Sean is the Managing Director of Make It York, the city’s destination management organisation and a key partner of the BID. He previously served as Chief Exectuive of Newcastle NE1 BID and has been involved in a number of projects which have contributed substancially to the local economy. Sean is an experienced collaborator with a range of different organisations from government and universities, to cultural institutions and businesses.



Chris Price

Director - Make It York Representative

Chris is the City Centre and Markets Manager, Make It York and works with several York city centre organisations such as York Retail Forum, the former York City team (now the BID) and Chamber of Commerce.  He is an accomplished manager with over 30 years experience in the High Street and retail sectors, working in various large cities including Manchester, Leeds and Edinburgh. 

Neil Sanderson

Director - Culture & Education Representative

Neil is Director of the York Minster Fund, the charity dedicated to raising money for the restoration, conservation and development of York Minster. He holds several non-executive directorships on company boards that are in the farming, food and retail sectors. He is also an entrepreneur in residence with the Connect Yorkshire small business network. Neil brings over 20 years executive experience of sales and operations at senior level from across the food industry in both UK and Europe.

Stuart Page

Advisor - Education Representative

Stuart is Pro Vice Chancellor for Business Development at York St John University. He has worked in Higher Education for over 25 years as a lecturer in arts-based subjects and more recently in management. In his current role, Stuart aims to increase the academic community's engagement and partnerships with businesses and organisations located throughout the city and region.

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