New Appointments at Make It York strengthen the direction for city ambitions

York’s Destination Management Organisation, Make It York, announces the arrival of their new Head of Culture & Wellbeing and Head of Commercial & Revenue Generation. Louise Saw also joins the team as Business Growth Manager.

New appointments at Make It York complete a refreshed line-up for the city’s destination management organisation, as it strives to achieve its mission of growing York’s economic prosperity and wider wellbeing. Helen Apsey has joined as Head of Culture & Wellbeing and Russell McCartney has joined as Head of Commercial & Revenue Generation. Louise Saw has also joined the team as the second SME Growth Manager in the York district. In partnership with Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Louise will work with SMEs to identify business needs and to deliver a programme of business support from Make It York, the LEP and partners. The role is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Helen joins the organisation from Nordoff Robbins, the UK’s largest independent music therapy charity. As Head of Policy and Impact, she led on public affairs activity for the charity, who are a leading voice for music in health and wellbeing, championing the life-changing impact their work can have for people affected by life-limiting illness, disability, or isolation. Prior to this Helen worked at the Health Innovation Network, the Academic Health Science Network for South London, and before this at New Zealand Red Cross.

Delivery of York’s forthcoming Culture Strategy is the driving force behind the new role, as the city aims to maximise the diversity and visibility of its cultural offer. Speaking of her new appointment, Helen said, “I’m excited to be joining Make It York, in what is a totally new role for the organisation, and to be working with people, communities and organisations from across the cultural, creative, and wellbeing sectors to implement the Culture Strategy. Culture can have an immensely positive impact on people’s lives, on how they see the world, and on their health and wellbeing, and I’m honoured to be working in a job than can positively contribute to this. I’m also really looking forward to exploring how we can raise the profile of York’s outstanding arts, culture and heritage offer and of its incredible status as a UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts.”

Russell joins Make It York with a remit to drive new commercial revenue streams and open wider collaborative opportunities that will ultimately boost the organisation’s investment back into the city. Russell brings a strong background in business development across a variety of sectors from high tech to transportation, alongside working with new start-up firms in the events sector, both in the UK and further afield in Japan and France.”

Sharing the ambitions of his new role, Russell commented “I’m excited to join a progressive organisation seeking to further contribute to an already vibrant city. It’s an excellent opportunity to help develop investment in York, working with local stakeholders, and residents along with the wider business community. My ultimate goal is to help foster a fantastic environment which helps to fuel further civic pride, wellbeing and wealth.”

Louise Saw has joined the team with over 10 years’ experience helping businesses to grow anddevelop. Louise brings with her a strong background in business support, in particular in training and skills, after she managed the LEP’s Skills Service which helped businesses access grants and source training. She is also experienced in working with the Department for International Trade (DIT) on inward and outward trade missions to help businesses enter new markets.

These new appointments complete the new team at Make It York as the company refocused its strategic priorities, following Sean Bullick’s appointment as Managing Director in early 2019. They also come shortly after new Chair of Make It York Greg Dyke took up his position from 1 January 2020.

Sean Bullick, Managing Director of Make It York said: “I’m delighted to welcome Helen, Russell and Louise to the Make It York team, as their appointments signify new opportunities at a really exciting time for the city, and for Make It York. A business is only as good as its people, and these new recruits are absolutely first rate. Amongst other things, they bring valuable professional experience and perspective from having worked in Japan, New Zealand and France, as well as in the UK. They will play a vital role in the delivery of Make It York’s ambitious programme and I look forward to working with them.”

Make It York will be sharing its future plans at its annual stakeholder event to be held in June. ENDS

Notes to Editor

Make It York

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.  The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment.

European Regional Growth Fund (ERDF)

The Business Growth Manager role is funded by the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community.

One of Make It York’s strategic aims is to promote York as a brilliant place to do business, helping to support business growth and innovation across a range of business sectors, such as financial & professional services, rail and high value manufacturing and to stimulate greater inward investment.

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership works with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to help businesses in our region grow and become more productive.

The Combined Authority works in partnership with local councils and businesses to ensure that everyone in our region benefits from a strong, successful economy and a modern, accessible transport network. By championing the region’s interests nationally and internationally, we secure the investment to deliver better transport and housing, help businesses to grow and create jobs. 

We want our region to be recognised globally as a strong, successful economy where everyone can build great businesses, careers and lives. For more information visit

For further information please contact:

Katie Parsons – Corporate Communications Manager

Direct Line: 01904 554436


Amy Goodman – Consumer Communications Manager      

Direct Line: 01904 554451


Images: Individual images of the new appointments available here

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