Make It York

York Busking Slots over the Christmas Period

To mark the 30th Anniversary of St Nicholas Fair, the city will come alive on the Thursday 17th November with a special programme of free events and activities across the city centre. From 12 – 9pm there will be live bands and choirs bringing the city to life with festive performances. We are working with Covent Garden Entertainment, and everyone is welcome to join the celebration and there are slots available throughout the day for buskers / street performers!

Here is the programming timetable for the event in the locations St. Helens Square, Shambles Market and Parliament Street.

Herbie’s Treehouse: The Treehouse Rooftop bar will be running again on top of Herbie’s Treehouse on the corner of St Sampson’s Square. Sound and lighting are supplied, and you can use your own case, or a large busking collections cup is available. Buskers are very welcome to come and perform and are invited to book in with the bar manager for time slots.

There are busking slots available for the opening event on St. Helens Square and Parliament Street (outside the Christmas tree) throughout the day please book this directly through events@makeityork.com. If we receive too many bookings, we can do a draw for the busking slots.

Important Information:

Throughout the duration of the Christmas Markets (17th November – 23rd December), due to concerns of crowd management at peak times we need to ensure there is adequate space around the Christmas Tree on Parliament Street and both the Christmas Market and the Shambles Market.

We will be monitoring congested areas and asking street performers not to perform or leave any equipment to reserve the pitch around the Christmas Tree on Parliament Street. We work with a range of city centre partners, businesses, and traders throughout the year to deliver a successful Christmas Market and experience. We want to ensure that all visitors and users of the city centre have an enjoyable and profitable experience and therefore we would like to propose a system that works for all to help us manage entertainment bookings at St. Helens Square during this period.

Throughout the Christmas Period on weekends Make it York will have choirs and bands booked between the hours of 2pm and 4pm at St. Helens Square. Outside of these times buskers can manage the square for their performances. On Saturday 3rd December we are using St. Helens Square from 10am – 2pm as we have a charity booked and 4 choirs performing.

Please email events@makeityork.com to book your slot for the opening event we would love to have you involved!

Many thanks

The Events Team

Make it York.

Visitor Information Centre and Make It York to relocate to Parliament Street 

After 12 years at Museum Street, the Visitor Information Centre is set to move to a new address on Parliament Street this autumn. 

21 Parliament Street will be the new home of the Visitor Information Centre, with Make It York occupying the accompanying office space. Located in a higher footfall area, the move aims to encourage more visitors and residents to utilise the Visitor Information Centre, which has assisted over 150,000 people this year so far. Following its successful launch earlier this year, the Visit York Information pod at York Station will remain open and will extend its operating hours from November.  

The move to Parliament Street will also bring Make It York’s two city centre offices closer together, with the Shambles Market team based at Silver Street. The new Parliament Street office will also be on the doorstep of one of Make It York’s biggest events of the year, St Nicholas Fair, which celebrates its 30th Anniversary this year.  

The Visitor Information Centre and Make It York offices will run business as usual at 1 Museum Street until the move later this autumn.  

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “This is an exciting new chapter for Make It York and our Visitor Information Centre. Our new home in Parliament Street is in a higher footfall area of the city centre, which we hope will encourage more visitors and residents to make the most of our brilliant and knowledgeable Visitor Information Centre advisors. The move this autumn will bring us closer to Shambles Market and our Silver Street office, plus we’ll be on the doorstep of our world-class events such as St Nicholas Fair and YorkLife Festival.”  

About Make It York  

Make It York is the city’s Destination Management Organisation, with the purpose to develop and promote the city and its surroundings nationally and internationally. The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management and Shambles Market, as well as delivering world-class festival and events and the city’s ground-breaking Culture Strategy.  

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand. Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. 

Women’s Rugby League World Cup teams receive Civic Welcome in York  

Yesterday afternoon (31st October), The Rt Hon Lord Mayor of York welcomed Australia, New Zealand, France and Cook Islands Women’s Rugby League World Cup teams to the city at The Principal, York.  The four teams are staying in York for the duration of this year’s tournament and will be playing in their first matches at LNER Community Stadium on Wednesday 2nd November.  

The Women’s teams from Australia, Cook Islands, France and New Zealand join the New Zealand Men’s team as the five teams and four nations being hosted by York this tournament.  The Civic welcome for the New Zealand’s men team took place earlier this month. 

York’s LNER Community Stadium is hosting eight women’s games, more women’s games than any other host city or town in the tournament. The first game in York takes place on Wednesday 2nd November, with a double-header New Zealand v France and Australia v Cook Islands. There will be six group stage games in York in total, followed by the double header Semi-Final on Monday 14th November. Tickets are on-sale from www.rlwc2021.com/tickets 

The Women’s Rugby League World Cup title will be contested by eight teams, the highest number in the tournament’s history. Since its inception, the tournament has only ever been won by two teams. New Zealand have taken home the trophy a record three times, while Australia have won the title twice including the most recent final in 2017.  

Kezie Apps, Co-captain for Australia’s Jillaroos, said: “I would like to thank York for hosting the Women’s Rugby League World Cup, it’s very special and I know we’re all really excited. All the teams have worked extremely hard to be here and have waited a very long time for this moment, so I know that the Jillaroos are really excited to get out and play. We love York so far, we’ve only been here for a week but it’s been amazing. Everyone is so lovely, we’re so close to everything, it has a rich history and we’re grateful for York and can’t wait for the Rugby League World Cup to kick off.” 

Elianna Walton, Player for Cook Islands, said: “Thank you to the City of York for hosting us and all the special dignitaries, we really appreciate it. It’s been a long travel for us, we’re super excited to be in the ‘pool of death’ as we call it. We’ve got the world number one and world number two, so we’re looking forward to it and really excited.” 

Alice Varela, Team Captain for France, said: “The French players have left their families, their children and have had to take unpaid leave from work to participate in this World Cup. We do it with great pleasure, because it is a real passion for each and every one of us. We are aware that the pool is particularly a death sentence, but my girls are warriors. They are ready to face the best, they are not afraid. We are lucky to be welcomed in York, a beautiful city to walk around. The hotel is great and the university facilities are top.” 

Georgia Hale, Vice Captain for New Zealand’s Kiwi Ferns, said: “On behalf of the Kiwi Ferns, we’d like to extend our massive gratitude and thanks to the City of York for hosting us for the duration of our campaign and to everybody involved in putting on, contributing and organising the World Cup that we have been waiting for for quite some time! Being in York so far, the weather is quite similar to New Zealand so we’ve felt really at home. We’ve really appreciated being shown around the city and our training facilities. We’re really proud to represent our home and our heritage on an international stage and to showcase how amazing women’s Rugby League is.” 

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council said: “We are delighted to welcome these world-class athletes to our city and we wish them good luck during the tournament. 

 “The next few weeks will provide a unique opportunity for the city and wider region. The games will have a huge reach with fans across the world and give York invaluable exposure on the international stage. 

“By continuing to work closely with our partners our focus is on this tournament having a long-term impact. The city has already seen community rugby league events, as well as investment in facilities and equipment. With the first women’s games soon to be played York we are hopeful that the action will inspire a new generation of sporting stars. 

“I hope the teams enjoy their stay in our wonderful city. I know that the people of York will give all the teams a warm welcome.” 

Councillor Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, said: “It was great to welcome the women’s teams from Australia, the Cook Islands, France and New Zealand to York before the women’s Rugby League World Cup kicks off. 

“It has been a fantastic start to the world cup so far and we are hugely excited for the women’s tournament to get underway this week. With York hosting eight games across four matchdays, including both semi-finals, it promises to be a fantastic few weeks of sport. To have the reigning world champions, Australia, playing at the LNER Community Stadium, which will host international fixtures for the first time, is very exciting. With the added hope of England playing in a World Cup semi-final in York, there is so much to enjoy these next few weeks. 

“I look forward to following each team’s progress in what promises to be an amazing few weeks of world class sport. Tickets are still available for the matches in York, so don’t miss out on these great events.” 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York said: “In a year where women’s sport has made front pages and captured the imagination of so many, we couldn’t be prouder to be hosting more women’s games in York than any other host city or town.  

“All eight games at the LNER Community Stadium are set to be a great occasion, including the highly anticipated double header Semi Final fixtures. It is a huge opportunity to showcase York on the international sporting stage, and a brilliant chance to see world class teams play international sport on our doorstep. 

“Bringing the Rugby League World Cup to York has been a city effort from partners across the city including City of York Council, York City Knights, Make It York, GLL, York St John University, University of York and Queen Ethelberga’s. “ 

For more information, please contact: 

Make It York 

Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer 

Comms@makeityork.com 

Rugby League World Cup 

Rob Meaden, Head of Communications: rob.meaden@rlwc2021.com / 07890561448 

Abby Burton, Communications Lead: abby.burton@rlwc2021.com / 07435985333 

Aaron Gales, Communications Lead: aaron.gales@rlwc2021.com / 07533707363 

NOTES TO EDITORS 

About Rugby League World Cup 2021 

The Rugby League World Cup is the pinnacle major event of rugby league, globally contested every four years. RLWC2021 will be a breakthrough moment in the tournament’s history with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being staged together for the first time. 

The three tournaments will take place across 21 venues throughout England. Both the women’s and wheelchair competitions will be contested by two groups of four teams, whilst the men’s tournament will see 16 teams compete across four groups. 

RLWC2021 will be the most visible rugby league event in history with all 61 games in the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being broadcast live on the BBC. 

Fixtures in York: 

New Zealand vs France (women’s) – LNER Community Stadium (Wednesday 2nd November) – 17.00pm 

Australia vs Cook Islands (women’s) – LNER Community Stadium (Wednesday 2nd November) – 19.30pm 

New Zealand vs Cook Islands (women’s) – LNER Community Stadium (Sunday 6th November) – 17.00pm 

Australia vs France (women’s) – LNER Community Stadium (Sunday 6th  November) – 19.30pm 

France vs Cook Islands (women’s) – LNER Community Stadium (Thursday 10th November) – 17.00pm 

Australia vs New Zealand (women’s) – LNER Community Stadium (Thursday 10th November) – 19.30pm 

Women’s Semi-Final (Teams TBC) – LNER Community Stadium (Monday 14th  November) – 17.00pm 

Women’s Semi-Final (Teams TBC) – LNER Community Stadium (Monday 14th November) – 19.30pm 

For full ticketing details visit rlwc2021.com/tickets  

About 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. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities. 

These are: 

  • City positioning and profile-raising 
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

Make It York Stakeholder Event: City leaders discuss what the future holds in light of the cost-of-living crisis 

This morning, delegates gathered in The National Centre for Early Music to hear from the Managing Director of Make It York, Sarah Loftus; Chair of Make It York, Greg Dyke; and a panel of city leaders on what organisations in York are doing to help businesses in the face of the cost-of-living crisis. 

Sarah Loftus opened the event by highlighting key achievements for Make It York over the past six months. Since April, 10.1 million people have viewed the organisation’s social content – across Visit York and Make It York channels – which has grown by 13.6% and clickthrough rates have increased by 93.3%. Plus, visits to the Visit York website are up 50% on 2018. 

Sarah Loftus also shared that Make It York has the highest engagement rate compared to any other Destination Management Organisation in the UK and that since April 2022, there has been the highest number of new members joining in the history of Make It York.  

Sarah acknowledged a tough few years for the organisation and assured delegates that Make It York has improved control of their finances. The organisation has also developed and implemented a robust and fair tendering process, including supplier environmental targets and achieving Good Business Charter.  

However, despite the positives, Sarah outlined the key challenges facing businesses and organisations in the city. The cost-of-living crisis is the “biggest challenge” faced by many, with VisitEngland’s domestic sentiment tracker for September showing that four in five believe that the worst is yet to come. International markets have been slow to return, with flight data showing that international bookings have fallen significantly from their high point in April/May. Sarah highlighted the importance of climate change as an industry standard, with more and more people demanding sustainable travel solutions.  

Despite a bleak outlook, Sarah assured delegates that Make It York will respond to these challenges by running more marketing campaigns and working more closely with tour operators to bring more spend to the city. Make It York will be attending World Travel Market in November, pushing York in front of 160 countries and 3000 exhibitors. As well as other key industry events, including ExploreGB which is the biggest Visit Britain event.  

Sarah also announced two exciting new projects, including a new sculpture trail in partnership with St Leonard’s Hospice that will be coming to the city next year. Plus, it has been announced today that York Civic Trust has been awarded a £249,999 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to deliver the Trailblazers project in partnership with Make It York. More information can be found here

Chair of Make It York, Greg Dyke, gave an overview of the challenges faced from his own experience in his hotel business – from inflation, profit loss, employment levels and the impact this all has on service. However, Greg stressed that in the short-term market that numbers are holding up and there is much to be optimistic about. 

To close the event, Andrew Morrison from York Civic Trust chaired a panel discussion between Councillor Keith Aspden (Leader of City of York Council), James Farrar (COO at York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership), Joan Concannon (Director of External Relations at University of York), Judith McNicol (Director of NRM) and Greg Dyke (Chair of Make It York).  

Joan Concannon outlined the university’s plans to diversify international recruitment, while James Farrar advised businesses to have a clear plan and focus on their strengths in the face of adversity.  

Councillor Keith Aspden highlighted the importance of hospitality, tourism and retail to the economy in York. With energy prices rising, inflation and the challenges faced, Councillor Aspden warned that next year’s council budget won’t be easy. However, with regenerative projects in the city, there are opportunities to capitalise on projects and make money go further by working with partners across the city.  

Judith McNicol discussed the “phenomenal” opportunity York Central will bring to York, with £155m of government money building the infrastructure which will see a commercial centre support 6.5k new jobs in the city.  

ENDS 

For more information, please contact: 

Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer 

Make It York Communications Team 

Comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors: 

About 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. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.   

These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising  
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

New Zealand Men’s team arrive in York ahead of Rugby League World Cup  

Yesterday afternoon (11th October), The Rt Hon Lord Mayor of York welcomed the New Zealand Kiwis Men’s Rugby team to the city at Mansion House. The former Rugby League World Cup Champions, who are currently ranked world Number 1 in the International Rugby League, are staying in York for the duration of this year’s tournament.  

The New Zealand Men’s team are one of the five teams being hosted by York; alongside the women’s teams from New Zealand, Australia, France and Cook Islands. A Civic Welcome for the women’s teams will be hosted later this month.  

York’s LNER Community Stadium is hosting eight women’s games, more women’s games than any other host city, including the double-header semi-final. Tickets are on-sale from www.rlwc2021.com/tickets 

Jordan Rapana, Player for New Zealand Kiwis said: “We’re really looking forward to the Rugby League World Cup, I know we’ve got a very good team here and a very good squad. I know we can do some damage in this competition, so really looking forward to it.  

In terms of where we’re based in York, it’s a beautiful place. I’ve been here two days now and the atmosphere great, beautiful old buildings and wonderful welcoming people. I’ve lived here in England in the past and this is by far my favourite place.” 

Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said: “We’re delighted to welcome the New Zealand Men’s Rugby League team to York, the first of a number of nations that will be staying in the city for the Rugby League World Cup, including Australia, France and Cook Islands. 

“This tournament will be viewed across the world and I have no doubt these teams will inspire a new generation of athletes here in York. We will be working with partners across the city to ensure this event creates a long lasting legacy for the sport and the wider community, with resident engagement set to be a key part of the activity. 

“Bringing this world event to York is the result of a huge partnership effort, and I know that the people of York will give all the teams a fantastic welcome. 

“I hope the team enjoy their stay in York and wish them all the best in their matches.” 

Darryl Smalley, City of York Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, said: “Since bidding for the Rugby League World Cup a number of years ago, we have been looking forward to the time we would be welcoming these athletes to our city. New Zealand is a proud sporting nation and is one of the best rugby league teams in the world so it is brilliant to have them in York. 

“The next few weeks will provide a unique opportunity for the city and wider region to host world class sport and we’re particularly looking forward to hosting international games in York’s LNER Community Stadium for the first time. With the competition set to begin shortly, excitement is building across the city and the country. 

“I look forward to following their progress in the tournament in what promises to be a great few weeks of incredible rugby league and a showcase of the sport. If you haven’t already secured tickets, they are still available for the matches in York, so don’t miss out!” 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York said: “We’re delighted to be hosting such a high level of talent in York for the Rugby League World Cup. It’s been an inspiring evening welcoming the internationally ranked world number 1 New Zealand men’s team to our city, and we look forward to welcoming the four women’s teams later this month. The Rugby League World Cup is an occasion not to be missed, with eight women’s games being hosted at our very own LNER Community Stadium. 

Bringing the Rugby League World Cup to York has been a city effort from partners across the city including City of York Council, York City Knights, Make It York, GLL, York St John University, University of York and Queen Ethelberga’s. It is an honour to showcase York to the international sporting community and inspire future generations of athletes here in York.” 

For more information, please contact: 

Make It York 

Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer 

Comms@makeityork.com 

Rugby League World Cup 

Rob Meaden, Head of Communications: rob.meaden@rlwc2021.com / 07890561448 

Abby Burton, Communications Lead: abby.burton@rlwc2021.com / 07435985333 

Aaron Gales, Communications Lead: aaron.gales@rlwc2021.com / 07533707363 

NOTES TO EDITORS 

About Rugby League World Cup 2021 

The Rugby League World Cup is the pinnacle major event of rugby league, globally contested every four years. RLWC2021 will be a breakthrough moment in the tournament’s history with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being staged together for the first time. 

The three tournaments will take place across 21 venues throughout England. Both the women’s and wheelchair competitions will be contested by two groups of four teams, whilst the men’s tournament will see 16 teams compete across four groups. 

RLWC2021 will be the most visible rugby league event in history with all 61 games in the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being broadcast live on the BBC. 

Fixtures in York: 

New Zealand vs France (women’s) – LNER Community Stadium (Wednesday 2nd November) – 17.00pm 

Australia vs Cook Islands (women’s) – LNER Community Stadium (Wednesday 2nd November) – 19.30pm 

New Zealand vs Cook Islands (women’s) – LNER Community Stadium (Sunday 6th November) – 17.00pm 

Australia vs France (women’s) – LNER Community Stadium (Sunday 6th  November) – 19.30pm 

France vs Cook Islands (women’s) – LNER Community Stadium (Thursday 10th November) – 17.00pm 

Australia vs New Zealand (women’s) – LNER Community Stadium (Thursday 10th November) – 19.30pm 

Women’s Semi-Final (Teams TBC) – LNER Community Stadium (Monday 14th  November) – 17.00pm 

Women’s Semi-Final (Teams TBC) – LNER Community Stadium (Monday 14th November) – 19.30pm 

For full ticketing details visit rlwc2021.com/tickets  

About 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. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities. 

These are: 

  • City positioning and profile-raising 
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

York Christmas Festival 2022: Celebrations for 30th Anniversary of St Nicholas Fair

Baubles, carols and festive fairs – Christmas in York is just around the corner! Extra special plans are in place across the city this year to celebrate 30 years of York’s famous Christmas Market, St Nicholas Fair. 70 alpine chalets will line the streets of Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square from 17th November to 23rd December, creating a festive wonderland with an array of local produce and artisan gifts on offer from local traders. 

From luxury stationary to Yorkshire Pudding beer, there are lots of unique gift ideas at this year’s Christmas market. What’s more, all traders at this year’s St Nicholas Fair will be offering exclusive discounts for York residents when presented with a valid York Card or identity card with proof of address*. Each trader will offer a discount ranging from 10 to 30% discounts, more details can be found here. 

Brand new to York Christmas Market for 2022 is a traditional Swiss chalet, The Winter Hütte. With a spectacular terrace overlooking St Nicholas Fair, The Winter Hütte offers a ‘Swiss with a Twist’ dining experience from one of Yorkshire’s best-known chefs, the Michelin-starred Andrew Pern. For passers-by, there is a fully-licensed bar area serving seasonal favourites such as gluhwein and spiced cider. Dining bookings are now open on the website. 

Another new addition to York’s Christmas Market 2022 is the Chocolate Circus. The brainchild of the York based family behind Herbie’s Treehouse, look out for their Instagram-worthy loaded hot chocolates. From giant snowman marshmallows to York printed wafers, there’s a topping for everyone including a full vegan hot chocolate alternative menu.  

Herbie’s Treehouse returns for its fifth year, with premium German mulled wine, Cornish mulled cider and Belgian hot chocolates. This year, look out for the new Herbie’s Secret Orchard at the back of the Treehouse for a special menu of hot toddies created with award-winning York Gin. Throughout the duration of the Christmas Market, resident singers and variety performers will play on the new Treetop Stage above the Treehouse, offering an exciting new entertainment area. Local schools, choirs and community groups will be invited to perform, as well as York based artists and international singers.  

Shambles Market Food Court vendors Krep and Shambles Kitchen will be returning to the Christmas market this year, plus Meow and Bao Little Bubble Box will be serving up a combination of infused Asian cuisine. Shambles Ski Bar is also returning this year, with an authentic Après Ski themed pop-up bar stocked with festive favourites. A new addition to this year’s market is York Cocoa Works, who will be on hand to share their chocolate making process from cocoa beans to chocolate bar, truffles, cakes and more. Don’t miss a visit to neighbouring Shambles Market for some of York’s best independent traders, selling everything from seasonal wreaths to locally grown produce.  

To mark the 30th Anniversary of St Nicholas Fair, the city will come alive on the opening day of the market with a special programme of free events and activities for residents. From 12pm to 9pm on Thursday 17th November, there will be live entertainment in St Helen’s Square, Parliament Street and Shambles Market to get everybody in the festive spirit. There’ll be choirs, bands, performances and free theatre workshops throughout the day and into the evening. Plus, there’ll even be an opportunity to meet St Nicholas himself at Shambles Market! The full programme of events will be announced soon. 

Those in the city centre on the evening of the 17th November to celebrate the opening of St Nicholas Fair will be the first to see the spectacular light display for the 2022 festive season. Promising to be the best winter lights display the city has seen, this year will see more lights, new technology and new areas added to the scheme. A partnership between York BID and Make It York, this year’s winter light display will increase the use of more sustainable LED and solar lights, with new areas to be lit up including George Hudson Street and Nessgate. The curtain of lights on York’s historic bar walls will remain, along with the magical ‘Tree of Light’ at the Eye of York with its 1km of twinkly LED lights which change colour to mark important dates and festivals. 

Another great way to see the city in all its festive glory is by following the brand-new Nutcracker Trail. Pick up a free map and seek out ten Nutcrackers across the city centre for a chance to win a £500 York BID Gift Card.  

York Minster has a packed programme of events for Advent and Christmas, including their Christmas Carol Concerts and the return of the Christmas Tree Festival. Castle Howard is set to be transformed into a wonderland of ‘happily ever afters’ with their new ‘Into The Woods’ Christmas experience designed by Charlotte Lloyd Webber Events and The Projection Studio. Plus, THOR’S Tipi will be back in The Principal Hotel Gardens from 11th November, serving up delicious snowboard platters by Yuzu Street Food and cocktails by the cosy log fires. 

Residents and visitors can bring home some of the magic of York this Christmas, with their own special edition 30th Anniversary Bauble. Designed by local artist Emma Feneley, following a local competition, the porcelain bauble will be available to purchase from the Visitor Information Centre from mid-November. Emma’s design features famous York landmark Clifford’s Tower in the festive season and is the perfect addition to any Christmas tree! 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “Christmas in York is always a special time of the year, with this year set to be even more so as we celebrate 30 years of the famous St Nicholas Fair. We’re delighted to be welcoming Michelin-starred Andrew Pern and The Winter Hütte to Parliament Street for a unique food and drink offer. We’re pleased that all of our traders at this year’s St Nicholas Fair will be offering a discount for York residents, plus we’ll be hosting a whole day and evening of free festive entertainment on Thursday 17th November to mark this special milestone for St Nicholas Fair.” 

Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure & Communities, said: “The programme of Christmas activities across York this year is outstanding – with so many unique experiences on offer for all to enjoy. This, combined with world-class food and drink and an array of independent retailers and traders, is sure to bring the festive magic back to York.  Christmas is a great time to support York’s local businesses by purchasing unique gifts and enjoying all they have to offer. 

“York really comes alive at Christmas, so we are looking forward to welcoming residents and visitors to enjoy the magic of the festive period in York.” 

Andrew Lowson, Executive Director at York BID said: “We’re excited about the new design and can’t wait to see the new winter lights scheme in place. Residents and visitors will notice a real difference in key areas like Parliament Street, and we’re pleased that we’ve been able to extend the scheme to light up new areas like Castlegate, George Hudson Street and Nessgate.” 

Andrew Pern, Michelin-Starred Chef, said: “We are hugely excited to be bringing The Winter Hütte and a taste of the Alps to the ancient streets of York. Aside from the incredible two-storey structure, I am delighted to introduce a new Star Inn venture to The Winter Hütte with a restaurant serving great Yorkshire produce with a Swiss twist.  As well as traditional fondue and raclette, the menu will also boast off-piste specials such as Cinnamon Roast Porcetta Suckling Pig with spiced apples, chestnuts and mulled cider juices or Gratin of Winter Roots with toasted cranberry muesli, nut “cheese”, garden sage and onion.  In the downstairs ski bar we will be serving a range of Bratwurst from “The Dog Haus” to enjoy with a festive beverage, while passers-by can also grab a tasty bite from the window counter.  Together with the scent of pine and decor of mountain scenes and cow bells, The Winter Hütte will be a real experience for all the senses this Christmas.” 

Festive cheer will be spread across the city, with carol concerts, festive events and the return of panto season. For more information about what’s happening in York this Christmas, please visit visityork.org/christmas.  

Visit York’s festive press pack can be found here and press images can be downloaded here. 

*To qualify for the resident discounts offered by traders at St Nicholas Fair, you must present a valid York Card or identity card that proves York residency. If presenting an identity card, this must clearly state ‘York’ (e.g. driving licence or older person’s bus pass). The full list of offers can be found here. 

ENDS 

For further information please contact:  

Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer 

Communications team at Make It York 

Email: comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors: 

St Nicholas Fair runs from 17th November to 23rd December on Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square, open daily from 10am to 7pm. St Nicholas Fair is a Make It York event.  

About 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, Shambles Market and festivals and events. 

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand. 

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. 

About The Winter Hütte 

The Winter Hütte is a joint venture between Coopers Marquees, CMJ Events and Andrew Pern of The Star Inn the City (York) Limited. Combined, the team brings over 60 years of live entertainment and food knowledge to deliver this spectacular new event for York, home to all three companies. 

York becomes first city with an elected Culture Executive in UK

A broad coalition of people passionate about culture and creativity have been democratically elected to York’s new Culture Executive from across the sector: together, they will oversee the future direction of the city’s Culture Strategy, York’s Creative Future.  

In 2020, the ambitious Culture Strategy mapping out the next five years of York’s Creative Future was launched. A joint initiative between Make It York, City of York Council and the city’s cultural and creative sector, the strategy aims to create opportunity and make culture relevant and accessible to everyone in the city.   

A key priority within the city’s Culture Strategy has been to create more democratic and open structures: the York Culture Forum opened in December 2021, and it now has over 160 members. They represent a broad range of creative freelancers and members of culture, heritage and creative organisations. As the organisation leading the delivery of the Culture Strategy, Make It York has worked closely with City of York Council and the cultural and creative sector to build this process together and ensure robust engagement with it. 

Over the summer, nominations were open for any members of the York Culture Forum who wanted to stand for a voluntary elected position on the Culture Executive. The York Culture Executive, who will oversee the future direction and implementation of the city’s Culture Strategy, York’s Creative Future, have been democratically elected by the York Culture Forum this September.  

There are seven newly elected members of the Culture Executive group, who will lead on specific Priority Areas of the Culture Strategy, as well as General Members who will support across the breadth of the strategy. They are:  

  • Barbara Swinn, Head of Strategy and Engagement at York Explore Libraries and Archives, as Head of Priority Area – Cultural Engagement, Participation and Relevance   
  • Andrew Morrison, Chief Executive Officer of York Civic Trust and Fairfax House, as Head of Priority Area – Placemaking   
  • Lydia Cottrell, Founder of SLAP and freelance multi-disciplinary artist, as Head of Priority Area – Talent Development and Retention   
  • Sarah Maltby, Director of Attractions at Jorvik Group, as Head of Priority Area – York’s National and International Profile 
  • Rachel Cowgill, Professor of Music and University Research Theme Champion for Creativity, University of York, as General Member  
  • Tom Bird, Chief Executive of York Theatre Royal, as General Member   
  • Rebecca Newman, Soprano and Managing Director of York Proms, as General Member.  

They join the non-elected members:   

  • Chris Edwards, Chair of REACH, the Local Cultural Education Partnership, as Head of Priority Area – Children and Young People   
  • Owen Turner, Master of the Guild of Media Arts, representing the UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts designation   
  • Helen Apsey, Head of Culture and Wellbeing at Make It York, as co-Chair of the York Culture Forum and Head of Priority Area – Culture and Wellbeing  
  • Councillor Darryl Smalley, representing City of York Council, as Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities.   

The Executive will be led by two co-chairs – Head of Culture and Wellbeing at Make It York and a co-chair appointed from and by the incoming Executive. The group will meet bi-monthly to steer the strategy’s future direction. The first meeting of the new Culture Executive will take place in October. 

Helen Apsey, Head of Culture and Wellbeing at Make It York and Co-Chair of York Culture Forum, said: “It’s a really exciting time for culture in York. Through the York Culture Forum, we’ve created a new space for people working across the culture and creative sectors to connect, come together to share knowledge, and develop partnerships – and with the newly elected Culture Executive in place, the sector can now really take the lead in shaping the future direction of the city’s Culture Strategy. I’m very much looking forward to working with the new Culture Executive: they’re an incredible group of people, with so much expertise, passion and energy.     

Councillor Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities said: “I look forward to working with the newly elected Culture Executive, who will with their experience, creativity and leadership help us bring York’s ambitious culture strategy to life. It’s a really exciting time for culture across the city, and York is leading the way in having an elected executive driving forward the delivery of our culture strategy. I’d urge any interested organisations or people working across the sector to get involved in the Culture Forum and help shape York’s creative future.” 

Andrew Morrison, Chief Executive Officer at York Civic Trust, said: “The Culture Forum is a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved in one of the most important parts of life in York to work together to develop and promote the vibrant and enriching creative and cultural community it is. I am excited to have been elected to join the executive in order to help support this development and in particular to help to ensure that opportunities for everyone to experience York’s kaleidoscope of culture are embedded within the fabric of the city as it develops.” 

Rachel Cowgill, Professor of Music and University Research Theme Champion for Creativity, University of York, said: “I’m excited to be joining the Culture Forum Executive at such a crucial time in the creative and cultural life of the city.  The cost-of-living crisis poses huge challenges, and we all have a part to play, as organisations and individuals working together, in promoting a culture of vitality, inclusion and well-being through creativity, arts and heritage. I’m excited to join as part of the University of York’s commitment as a university for public good to helping create the conditions for all parts of society to flourish.”  

Sarah Maltby, Director of Attractions at Jorvik Group, said: “I am delighted to join the executive group to bring the benefits to York; its residents and visitors, through the new Cultural Strategy. We have huge opportunities to work together to enhance York’s impact on a national and international stage and I am very pleased to be able to play a part in making that happen.”  

ENDS 

 
For more information: 

Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer 

Make It York Communications Team 

Comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors: 

About the York Culture Forum 

The Culture Forum is open to anyone working within the arts, culture, heritage, and creative sectors, including collections, combined arts, dance, libraries, literature, museums, music, theatre and the visual arts, as well as people’s own creative participation in, and interpretations of, culture based within York. Find out more and sign up to join the Forum here: York Culture Forum (makeityork.com)   

About the Culture Strategy 

York’s Creative Future has inclusion and participation at its core, and the commitment to ensure that culture is relevant and accessible to everybody in York – regardless of age, background or postcode. It places culture at the heart of activities from major capital developments, to residents’ wellbeing – and will work to ensure cultural entitlement for every child. 

The Culture Strategy has the ambition to transform York – and by 2025 we believe York will be known as a city where outstanding, renowned heritage comes together with a cutting-edge and contemporary approach to creativity – reflecting the city’s rich history and its status as the UK’s first UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts. 

About 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. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.   

These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising 
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

Halloween in the ‘most haunted city in Europe’

Celebrate the spookiest time of the year in the ‘most haunted city in Europe’ with a visit to York this October. York offers tricks, treats and spooky encounters for all with a wide range of new ghoulish experiences, trails and events on offer this year. 

From family-friendly magical adventures to experiences a little more gruesome and frightening, there is something for everyone. Partnering with York Dungeon and York Park & Ride, Visit York have developed a very special spooky video to celebrate the city this Halloween with a website hub packed full of the creepiest things to do in the city. 

Here’s York’s best Halloween experiences to celebrate this spooky season: 

  1. Séance Halloween Show at The York Dungeon (26th September to 6th November) 

Join York Dungeon’s sinister Victorian medium, Georgiana Eagle, otherwise known as Madame Card, in a brand-new Halloween show. Get ready to contact the Spirit world as you find yourself in the year 1872, participating in one of Madame Card’s sought after Séance shows where she will open your eyes to the world of the unliving. More information here. 

  1. York BID’s Ghosts in The Garden (23rd September to 7th November)  

The eerie sculptures, which were first installed in Museum Gardens last year, are back bigger and better than ever. This year, the BID are adding ghosts to more of York’s beautiful city centre gardens including Treasurer’s House, The Merchant Adventurers Hall, Middletons Hotel, The Artists Garden and St Anthony’s Garden.  

  1. Hallowscream at York Maze (13th October to 5th November)  

Dare you face Hallowscream’s killer clowns or flesh-eating zombies? This immersive scare experience features five live action haunted house attractions, roving characters and more. 

www.yorkmazehallowscream.co.uk  

  1. Dorian Deathly: A Night of Face-Melting Horror at Theatre@41 (26th to 31st October) 

Celebrate Halloween with local Spookologist and ghost botherer Dorian Deathly with an evening of ghost stories, paranormal sciences, original music and perhaps the odd unexpected guest. Explore spine-chilling tales of hauntings, both local and further afield, dissemble horrors captured on film and follow the ghost story through from the origins, the Victorian classics and modern-day frights. Book tickets here.  

  1. Hocus Pocus Halloween at Mother Shipton’s (22nd to 31st October) 

Beware of the cackles of old souls wandering the ancient woodland or feel a shiver down your spine stepping into the Haunted Halloween Village. There’s frightful fun to be had with photo opportunities and fancy dress competitions. More information here.  

  1. The Little York Ghost Hunt (24th to 27th October) 

As twilight gives way to night, The York Ghost Merchants invite you to join the search for Little York Ghosts along the atmospheric ancient streets that surround York Minster each evening between 6pm and 8pm (Monday – Thursday only). There are 125 Little York Ghosts to find each evening, including some which are rare & unusual. This is a free event and maps will be available from The York Ghost Merchants, The Visitor Information Centre and selected independent retailers from mid-October. There will also be a printable version of The Little York Ghost Hunt map available from this page nearer the event. 

  1. Trick or Treat Chocolate Bar Workshop at York Cocoa Works (16th to 31st October) 

Design and craft your own spooky Chocolate Bar in the shape of a Ghost or a Bat this Halloween at York Cocoa Works! £22.50 pp (under 5s go free with a paying adult). More information here.  

  1. William’s Pumpkin Experience at William’s Den (7th to 30th October) 

William’s Pumpkins is a picture-perfect scene for families to visit and celebrate the arrival of autumn together. Experience the sights and smells of the new season and of course, pick your own pumpkins to take home, carve, paint, decorate and cook. Lace up your boots, slip on your gloves and head out to pick the perfect pumpkin. Knobbly ones, wrinkly ones, different shapes and sizes, there is a bountiful supply of shiny pumpkins, quirky gourds and lumpy squashes. There is an ideal pumpkin for everyone. More information here.  

  1. Ghost Hunts with Paranormal Research (various locations and dates) 

Paranormal Research investigate some of York’s most historic and haunted venues. This October, they are hosting ghost hunts at The Guildhall, The Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, Bedern Hall, The Black Swan and Sandwitches Café. More information here.  

  1. Pick Your Own Pumpkins at The Balloon Tree (1st to 31st October) 

Looking for a fun and exciting way to choose the perfect pumpkin for the Halloween season?Why not visit The Balloon Tree’s Pick Your Own Pumpkin field! Whilst you’re there, see what local and seasonal produce they have available in the Farm Shop, or pop into the Cafe for a coffee and a slice of homemade cake. More information here.  

  1. The Graveyard Grimoire at The Mansion House (24th to 30th October)  

In days gone by, those departing the mortal coil of this parish were buried in St Helen’s Square. With progress came the removal of their resting place. Each year, these restless souls venture to the Mansion House to attend the Dance of the Dead. However, to pass through the veil and attend this supernatural ball, they must be remembered in the land of the living. Visit the Mansion House to complete the ‘’Graveyard Grimoire’ an adventure through ghostly residents of St Helens Square. A surprising, creepy, and entertaining event suitable for all ages. Included in the standard admission price. No tickets or booking required. 

  1. The Phantom Carriage at The National Centre for Early Music (26th October) 

The last person to die before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve is doomed to ride Death’s carriage, collecting souls for the year ahead. This eerie and innovative Swedish film classic (which inspired a twelve-year-old Ingmar Bergman to make films) is a Dickensian ghost story and a deeply moving drama – as well as a showcase for ground breaking special effects. Frame Ensemble, a quartet of Northern musicians specialising in improvised silent film accompaniments, will complement the haunting visuals with a unique, spontaneous musical performance. Booking information here.  

  1. October Light Spectacular at North Yorkshire Moors Railway (22nd to 30th October) 

Marvel at heritage carriages, decorated with thousands of lights, before departing from Pickering Station for an awe-inspiring journey alongside a DJ-Mix of music that will get you in the mood for a party the whole family will enjoy. Each passenger will be given their own interactive LED wristband which is synchronised to the music and passengers become part of the show. This hour-long round trip, with on-board narration and music, departs from Pickering Station for Levisham Station every evening from 22 to 30 October. More information here.  

  1. Dungeon Lates (Saturdays 1st to 29th October, Fridays 21st and 28th October) 

Dungeon LATES evenings (strictly 18+ adults only) will be running on selected dates throughout October and offer guests a darker, scarier and naughtier alternative to the daytime tours. These evenings also feature a new exclusive 11th show, Body Snatchers! More information here.  

  1. Little Peasants City Walking Tour with The York Dungeon (22nd to 30th October) 

For the Little Peasants who are too young (or scared!) for The York Dungeon, this one-hour tour of the City of York will give families the chance to walk, laugh and learn as they explore the famous sights including Clifford’s Tower, York Minster and The Shambles. The York Dungeon’s Dungeon Jester and lovable sidekick Smedley will talk about York’s most infamous rogues and heavenly saints including Dick Turpin, Guy Fawkes and the Pearl of York herself, Margaret Clitherow. More information here.   

  1. Halloween at City Cruises (22nd to 31st October) 

Beware! City Cruises are Halloween-ifying their Boats! During the day, the York City Cruise will be decked out, but at night on the Early Evening Cruise, there will be spiders and skeletons cruising the Ouse. 

  1. Take a famous York Ghost Walk (various dates) 

Learn more about the haunting history of York on one of the city’s famous ghost walks. Browse our recommended ghost guides here.  

  1. Stately Superstitions: Eerie Encounters at the Castle (21st to 23rd, 28th to 31st October) 

Explore the uncanny on this behind-the-scenes tour of Castle Howard where not all is as it seems. If you were to venture beyond the visitor route, below stairs, you’d encounter a labyrinth of dark cellars and never-ending corridors. Long since servants walked the halls and a fire ripped through the now empty wings, these parts of Castle Howard have remained largely unchanged. Those interested in the history of the House may revel at the chance to explore these quarters, but a stay longer than necessary provokes a sense of unnerving discomfort causing the imagination to try and make sense of the darkness. More information here.  

  1. Halloween Masterclass (24th to 29th October) and Halloween Tour & Truffle Rolling (17th to 30th October) at York’s Chocolate Story 

This Halloween, experience the York’s Chocolate Story tour with some added spooky extras! You’ll have the opportunity to decorate four ghostly chocolates with rat blood and goblin snot fillings. Plus, the Halloween Masterclass experience includes blind trick-or-treat tasting and a signature hot chocolate with a fully costumed chocolatier and assistant. From eyeball truffles to Trick or Treat chocolate wheels, Halloween at York’s Chocolate Story will be one to remember! https://www.yorkschocolatestory.com/ 
 

For the wizards and witches of York, why not make a magical potion at The Potion’s Cauldron or have a round of mini golf at The Hole In Wand this Halloween. You can also learn more about York’s magical history on one of the city’s walking tours, such as York Witches & History Walking Tour and The Wizard Walk of York.  

Bring Halloween home with a visit to Shambles Market. Wigginton Road Nurseries will be selling a range of ornamental pumpkin decorations and autumnal floral displays, plus traders throughout the market will have spooky decorations and clothing to buy.  

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with York Park & Ride and The York Dungeon on our spookiest campaign of the year! York is a must-see destination year-round, but there is no eerier time to be in the city than at Halloween – we are the ‘most haunted city in Europe’ after all. This Halloween, we have a huge programme of events across the city and beyond for the whole family to enjoy.”  

John Godfrey, Head of Marketing for First York, said: “Halloween is one of those times in the year when York really comes into its own as a place to experience fun and frights! By teaming up with York Dungeon and Visit York we’re encouraging people get to a ghoulish gathering by bus – it’s the best way to arrive right outside the dungeon doors or stop off on a scary street in the city.” 

Mark Mattinson, General Manager of The York Dungeon, said: “We cannot wait to launch our scariest Halloween show ever – Séance. Our terrifying team have pulled out all the stops this year and we cannot wait to SCARE, ahem, welcome York’s visitors to join us…I just hope they make it to the end of the show! 

“For those with Little Peasants who are not quite ready for The Dungeon, our Little Peasant’s Walking Tours will show younger visitors the sights of York in the comfort of the daylight. 

“We are delighted to be partnering with Visit York and First York Park and Ride on this year’s Haunted York campaign. We look forward to welcoming visitors to the UK’s Home of Halloween – it promises to be even bigger, better and without a doubt SCARIER than last year!” 

ENDS 

For more information: 

Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer 

Communications team at Make It York 

Comms@makeityork.com  

About 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, Shambles Market and festivals and events. 

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand  

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. 

York Park & Ride  
Make travelling into the city easier with York Park & Ride! Avoid the hassle and expense of driving into the centre with buses up to every 12 minutes and free parking at all sites – what’s more, an Adult Return ticket is just £3.50 and up to three children go free. To find out more about York’s Park & Ride service, including fare and timetable information, visit: https://bit.ly/3bWBImy  

Finalists Announced for Visit York Tourism Awards 2023

Finalists in the Visit York Tourism Awards, sponsored by LNER, have been revealed today. Celebrating the best in tourism, hospitality and culture, finalists will go head-to-head to win one of 16 trophies on Thursday 23rd March 2023.

The ‘Tourism Oscars of the North’ will take place in a glitzy ceremony at York Racecourse hosted by award-winning journalist and legendary broadcaster, John Stapleton. John has more than 50 years of experience working in television and newspapers, spending 17 years as a presenter for GMTV, Daybreak and Good Morning Britain. On hosting the Visit York Tourism Awards, John Stapleton said: “Really looking forward to the awards ceremony and visiting the wonderful city of York. It’s a long time since my school trips there.”

Eligible winners across a number of categories will be automatically put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2023 to compete for the crown of the country’s best. York has a strong record of national glory, with Middletons Hotel’s General Manager Adam Wardale taking the national Unsung Hero Award in the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2022.

New categories for 2023 include ‘Cultural Venue of the Year’ to celebrate the city’s thriving culture scene. The ‘Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award’ champions businesses who go above and beyond in their commitment to the environment and the wider community.

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “We had such a brilliant turnout in entries this year, with incredibly strong applications across the board. A huge congratulations to our finalists announced today, who have demonstrated excellence in their sectors across tourism, hospitality and culture. The Visit York Tourism Awards celebrate the countless organisations who work tirelessly year-round to deliver the very best experiences for visitors and residents. We look forward to celebrating their successes at the ceremony in March.”

David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said: “From historic sites to wonderful places to eat and stay, York has so much to offer and is one of the most popular destinations on the LNER route. We are therefore proud to support the Visit York Tourism Awards, helping to celebrate the individuals and businesses that continue to work hard to make York such a great place to visit. Congratulations to all those who have been selected as a finalist.”

Councillor Darryl Smalley: Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, said: “York is proud to be home to many excellent businesses and individuals who work incredibly hard to create unique visitor experiences for the millions of visitors exploring our city each year. These businesses are an essential part of our city and I am delighted to see such a diverse group of finalists this year. Their hard work, resilience and creativity will be rightly recognised and celebrated at the Tourism Awards. With so many excellent businesses in the tourism sector in York, it really is an achievement to be shortlisted. Congratulations and good luck to all finalists!”

Visit York Tourism Awards Finalists 2023:

B&B and Guest House of the Year**

MonkBridge House

The Bishop & The Bison

Westergate House

The Sidings Hotel & Restaurant

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year**

Wigwam Holidays Ball Hall Farm

Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges

York Meadows Camping & Caravan Park

Cultural Venue of the Year* sponsored by Clarion Housing Group

York Theatre Royal

York Mansion House

Grand Opera House York

York Barbican

Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award sponsored by The Fabl

Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens

Avorium

Fairfax Corner

Event or Festival the Year* sponsored by LNER

York Proms

York Maze Hallowscream

Yorktoberfest

York Fashion Week

York Theatre Royal – An Evening with Kyiv City Ballet

Experience of the Year sponsored by Destination Core

The Wizard Walk of York

The Cookery School at The Grand, York

The Hilt

The Deathly Dark Tours

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year**

The York Dungeon

Castle Howard

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

The Web Adventure Park

JORVIK Viking Centre (York Archaeological Trust)

The Hole in Wand York

Large Hotel of the Year sponsored by Streamline Taxis

The Grand, York

Middletons Hotel – part of Daniel Thwaites

Malmaison York

New Tourism Business of the Year**

No.1 by GuestHouse, York

22 Yards Wine Bar & Merchants

Avorium

A Brecks Away Holiday Cottages

The Wizard Walk of York

Pub of the Year sponsored by Hunter Gee Holroyd

Valhalla York

The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub

Resilience & Innovation Award sponsored by York St John University

City Sightseeing (Transdev)

Next Door But One CIC

Yemen Heaven

The Deathly Dark Tours

Retailer of the Year* sponsored by Fidomoney

York Gin

Avorium

Antiques Centre York

The Potions Cauldron

Self Catering Accommodation of the Year

The Dovecote Barns

Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges

A Brecks Away Holiday Cottages

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year**

Mother Shipton’s Cave

York Army Museum

World of James Herriot

Small Hotel of the Year sponsored by Inglis Chartered Accountants

Grays Court Hotel & The Bow Room Restaurant

Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa

No.1 by GuestHouse, York

Taste of England Award sponsored by Fowlers of York

The Bow Room Restaurant at Grays Court Hotel

Corner Grill House Restaurant

Chopping Block at Walmgate Ale House

The Raj York

*Visit York only. These categories are not eligible to go forward to the Visit England Awards for Excellence.

**Sponsorship opportunities available.

Tickets for the glittering awards ceremony event on Thursday 23rd March 2023 are available from today. Book your tickets here. (Tickets cost £75 plus VAT for Visit York members, or £70 plus VAT when booking a table of 10. Tickets cost £95 plus VAT for non-members).

More information about the Visit York Tourism Awards can be found at visityork.org/awards

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer

Communications team at Make It York

Email: comms@makeityork.com

Notes to Editors:

About 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, Shambles Market and festivals and events.

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.

About John Stapleton

John Stapleton is an award-winning journalist with more than 50 years of experience in newspapers and television. He was the Royal Television Society’s Presenter of the Year in 2004 for his work covering the war in Iraq and a series of interviews with, amongst others, the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair. John’s career began as a journalist in local newspapers and progressed to Fleet Street where he worked on two national newspapers. After a four-year spell in regional TV he became a presenter on the BBC’s hugely popular Nationwide programme for five years and later a foreign correspondent with Panorama and Newsnight. He co-presented the BBC Watchdog programme with his wife Lynn Faulds Wood for seven years, hosted the ITV daytime chat show The Time the Place and spent 17 years as a presenter at GMTV, Daybreak and Good Morning Britain.

Winners of the Visit York Tourism Awards 2022:

B&B and Guest House of the Year – Sponsored by Morrell Middleton

Winner: Tower Guest House

Finalists: MonkBridge House, Westergate House

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year – Sponsored by The Fabl

Winner: Wigwam Holidays Ball Hall Farm

Finalists: Springwood Shepherd Huts Glamping York, Wolds Walk Glamping

Experience of the Year – Sponsored by Destination Core

Winner: The Bloody Tour of York

Finalists: Castle Howard, The Deathly Dark Tours, The Cookery School at The Grand, York,

Event of the Year – Sponsored by Rugby League World Cup
Winner: York Maze

Highly Commended: That JORVIK Viking Thing

Finalists: The Great Ryedale Maze, York Balloon Fiesta

Large Hotel of the Year – Sponsored by Streamline Taxis

Winner: The Grand, York

Highly Commended: Sandburn Hall Hotel

Finalists: Hotel Indigo York, Middletons Hotel, The Principal York

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year – Sponsored by YO1 Radio
Winner: JORVIK Viking Centre

Finalists: The York Dungeon, York Art Gallery, York’s Chocolate Story

New Tourism Business of the Year – Sponsored by City Cruises
Winner: The Deathly Dark Tours

Finalists: Malmaison York, Sandburn Hall Hotel, York Riverside Apartments

Pub of the Year – Sponsored by Hunter Gee Holroyd
Winner: The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub

Finalists: House of Trembling Madness Lendal, House of Trembling Madness Stonegate

Self Catering Accommodation of the Year – Sponsored by Clarion Housing

Winner: Heritage Escapes (York)

Finalists: Roomzzz Aparthotels – York City, Staycity Aparthotels, The Enchantment Chamber, The Riverside York (Finalist)

Resilience and Innovation Award – Sponsored by Fabler & Co

Winner: The Web Adventure Park

Finalists: The Deathly Dark Tours, The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub, The North Yorkshire Moors Railway, The Web Adventure Park, Trembling Madness Ltd, York Gin

Shop Experience of the Year* – Sponsored by Fidomoney
Winner: York Gin

Finalists: The Antiques Centre York, York’s Chocolate Story

Small Hotel of the Year – Sponsored by Hospitality Staffing
Winner: Grays Court Hotel & The Bow Room Restaurant

Finalists: Galtres Lodge, The Judge’s Lodging

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year – Sponsored by Fowlers of York

Winner: Mother Shipton’s

Finalists: Fairfax House, York Army Museum

Taste of England Award – Sponsored by The York Roast Co.
Winner: The Bow Room Restaurant at Grays Court Hotel

Finalists: Forest at Galtres Lodge, Mr Chippy York, Plush Café, The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub

Unsung Hero Award - Sponsored by LNER

Winner: Adam Wardale, General Manager at Middletons Hotel

Finalists: Frank Caulfield, Porter at Dean Court Hotel and Norbert Lawrie, Kitchen Porter at Galtres Lodge

York Sculpture Trail Character Commission

Make It York is looking for visual artists, designers and illustrators to create a unique character or creature, bespoke to the city, that will be transformed into 3D, larger than life sculpture models as part of a family-friendly city-wide trail in 2023.

Submit your design using this form on the Make It York website by 12 noon on 14 October 2022.

Sculpture Trail Background

The 2023 sculpture trail will see 25/30 large scale sculptures strategically placed around the city to form a vibrant and bold family friendly trail of characters or creatures. Each sculpture model will be customised by being decorated with unique designs (through painting, applique, etc.) from Yorkshire-based artists, in response to a set overarching theme.

It is expected the sculptures will remain in situ for a period of four months and will be complimented with a programme of workshops, talks and demonstrations from our commissioned artists.

While this trail model has been seen widely across the country, taking the form of animals and other shapes in a multitude of formats, we’re looking to create something bespoke for the city – creating our own story and narrative for residents and visitors of York to explore.

About the Character Commission

We’re looking to commission an artist to design a character or creature that represents the city, something new and something different, that we will then turn into the sculpture model for the trail. Not only that, we’re interested in the narrative and why artists have chosen to create this particular design.

Perhaps the character plays on the heritage of York, a concept that is unearthed or has been missed from the city achieves, even a myth brought to life. Maybe this character or creature has found itself misplaced in the city, maybe it’s a fantastical never-seen-before animal, or perhaps it’s another construct entirely.

We are keeping the commission as open as possible to allow artists freedom of interpretation to create this character however, the trail will be family friendly and submitted designs must take that into consideration.

Practically, the selected design will be cast and transformed into a 5/6ft tall sculpture and therefore cannot be overly complex and highly detailed. Once produced the blank sculptures will be brought to life with different artist designs, meaning the shape of the character is key as this will be the defining element across the trail.

Another consideration is to keep designs as contained as possible, loose aspects to the character increase the likelihood of damage to the sculptures once they are in situ. Keeping the sculpture as solid and contained as possible reduces the risk of damage. For example, a long upward tail of a cat would be more prone to damage that one wrapped around the cat.

The selected artist will be decided by Make It York. The commissioned artist will be awarded a £1000 commission fee for the design and narrative of the character alongside an additional artistic fee of £1000 to create one of the artistic designs and bring a sculpture to life as part of the trail itself.

Upon commissioning Make It York will work with the artist and the manufacturing company to tweak designs where appropriate for the most suitable replication in a physical format.

Submit your design using this form on the Make It York website by 12 noon on 14 October 2022.

Commission Criteria

  • Artists may submit a maximum of two entries.
  • Anyone over the age of sixteen is eligible to submit a design.
  • Artists should reside in Yorkshire (including all of North, East, South and West)
  • Designs that do not fit the commission criteria will not be accepted.
  • Only new designs will be permitted – designs which already exist and have been used in other contexts will not be accepted.
  • The artist should submit a visual drawn/designed representation of their concept. This should be in PDF or image format.
  • Artists should also complete the expression of interest form and include details of the character narrative.
  • Designs should be considered practically based on the shape and elements for large scale reproducing.
  • The commissioned artist will be required to make tweaks to the design if needed following selection and consultation with the production company.
  • Entries remain the intellectual property of the artist and will be kept on record for informational purposes only by Make It York. Artists may contact the company to request their design be removed from records.
  • The selected artists commission fee includes a buyout fee of £1000 of the intellectual property of the design, which will become the property of Make It York, who will have sole right to replicate the design for the production of the trail and potential commercial opportunities to run alongside. The artist will not receive a share of sales.
  • An additional £1000 artistic fee will be awarded to the selected artist to create a design on one of the sculptures as part of the trail.
  • Decisions will be made in October 2022, with the winner being notified on or before 4th November 2022.
  • The decision of Make It York on the outcome of the commission is final, although we are happy to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

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