Tour De Yorkshire firm's £500k loan a 'bailout' says peer
A loan made to the tourism company Welcome to Yorkshire (WtY) has been described as a taxpayers' "bailout" by a Liberal Democrat peer.
North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) has given WtY the £500,000 loan.
The leader of the council, Carl Les, said it was needed to help WtY manage a "cashflow issue".
Lord Scriven, former leader of Sheffield City Council, said taxpayers were "bailing out a non-viable company".
Documents filed at Companies House show the loan will see the company pay an initial interest rate of 2.75% per year to NYCC.
Council leader Carl Les said: "The commercial loan is a good investment for North Yorkshire taxpayers as the interest rate is better than what we get from our own bank.
"The loan will also help WtY whilst long-term decisions are made about how much money it will receive in future from councils across Yorkshire."
The tourism organisation is a private company but receives more than £1m in public funding each year from councils across the region.
Lord Scriven said: "It's staggering that the poor taxpayers of North Yorkshire are bailing out a company which is clearly non-viable.
"It is beyond the pale that a company that has been investigated over misusing public money now gets more money from the public purse."
WtY said it was not the case that the loan was a sign that company was in financial trouble.
Keith Stewart, the interim chairman of Welcome to Yorkshire, said "It's no secret the challenges that Welcome to Yorkshire, which is a not-for-profit organisation, has faced over recent months.
"The loan enables the business to offset the one-off costs the organisation has faced, and allows the company to rapidly progress..."