York is taking an all-inclusive approach to the development of the city centre.
Representatives of key sectors – from volunteering to retail – have joined forces to launch ‘My City Centre’.
This initiative will develop a long-term vision to shape a city centre where people of York love to spend time, live and work.
The group will offer advice and guidance to City of York Council, identifying challenges and opportunities while shaping the major public engagement exercise – starting in February – which will inform the city centre vision.
The public engagement will follow the same principles of open, ongoing conversations used to develop the Castle Gateway and York Central masterplans.
While York’s footfall and occupancy rates remain relatively high, these mask the growing pressures of internet shopping, economic and social changes and nationally set business rates.
The My City Centre Advisory Group includes representatives from:
- City of York Council
- York CVS
- the York BID
- York Retail Forum
- Property Forum
- Indie York
- Make it York
- York Cultural Leaders Group
- Civic Trust
- Hospitality Association York
- Higher York
- Canal and River Trust
- York Minster
- North Yorkshire Police
- the Safer York Partnership
Phil Pinder, chair of York Retail Forum, said:
“I’m delighted the council are engaging the city at large on the future, not only for the high street but the city centre as a whole.”
Lissa Anderson, deputy chief executive of York CVS, said:
“We’re really encouraged to see volunteering and community represented in the conversation. Retail and leisure are important parts of a city centre, but we’re keen to make sure it’s a place built around people and communities. It is important that the city is a place where people do things with their friends, neighbours and interact with the rest of the city.”
Lizzie Dealey, partnerships & external relationships manager, Canal & River Trust, said:
“York’s waterways are rightly iconic images of the city, and can play a positive role in the wellbeing of our residents. We want to explore how the future vision of the city centre reconnects our residents with the really positive social, economic and health benefits our waterways can bring.”
Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for economic development and strategic planning, said:
“There is no magic wand or single solution to the challenges facing city centres. We have to work together and listen to all our residents, businesses and other voices across the city to make sure central York is a place residents love to use, is accessible to all, provides good jobs and allows people to move around sustainably.”