THE heads of Welcome to Yorkshire and the Chamber of Commerce are among honorary graduates receiving degrees from the University of Bradford this week.

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of the county’s tourism board, who played a crucial role in bringing the Tour de France Grand Depart to Yorkshire four years ago, was presented with his degree yesterday in the university’s Great Hall.

Also honoured yesterday was Sandy Needham, the chief executive of the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, and former chief executive of the Bradford Chamber.

Professor Nicholas Barber was the first to be presented with his degree yesterday.

An alumni of the University of Bradford, Prof Barber is an Emeritus Professor of Pharmacy at the UCL School of Pharmacy, and was previously vice-president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

He has been awarded the Gold Medal of the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ms Needham is a champion of business, she has developed the Raising the Bar initiative to encourage businesses to support the wider community, and has also been involved in the Business Enterprise Fund.

She is a non-executive director of Bradford City of Film, and is interim director of Bradford BID.

Sir Gary created the Tour de Yorkshire, one of the best attended sporting events in the UK, which has brought an estimated £252 million boost to Yorkshire’s economy since 2014.

As well as a knighthood, he was also awarded a top honour by the French Government, a chevalier medal in the Ordre National du Mérite, for his work with the Tour de France, and he has also been appointed as the Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire.

Today, Jonathan Phillips OBE will receive his degree, recognising his years of service as a social worker in Bradford, as a director with the National Deaf Children’s Society and working in social services.

Last but certainly not least will be Dr Hassib Sahyoun, a Bradford alumni who formed the first private Group Practice in Laboratory Medicine in the Middle East, and has since provided free testing to underprivileged communities across the region and spearheaded national health awareness campaigns.

Chancellor Kate Swann and Vice-Chancellor Brian Cantor presented the honorary graduates, as well as the hundreds of students who are also graduating this year, with their degrees at yesterday’s ceremonies, and will do so again today