Make It York

Make It York Recovery Planning

At Make It York, our number one objective at the moment is to support York’s businesses and the recovery of the city’s economy during the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

As a destination management organisation, everything we do is aimed to support York’s economic prosperity and the wider wellbeing of our people. An integral part of our recovery planning is working very closely with local businesses to understand key concerns, provide business support and advice, and identify opportunities for growth as we move forward. 

All our work is in line with Government guidance and we work closely with City of York Council and York BID to deliver business support and advice.

Working together

Alongside City of York Council, York BID, Federation of Small Businesses, York & North Yorkshire Chamber Of Commerce and the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, we are currently running a series of virtual roundtables for businesses to come together to share sector specific intelligence and challenges. This intelligence is already helping to inform the development of the city’s recovery plans.

The groups are expected to meet monthly and, as well as enabling peer to peer support, will facilitate the lobbying at regional and national level necessary to allow us to make the most of the opportunities for growth which will undoubtably arise from the crisis for a number of sectors. For a really valuable insight into this, you can watch the virtual conference ‘Roadmap to Recovery: York in a post-Covid world’ which we held on 2nd June in partnership with University of York as part of their Festival of Ideas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FecK7Fm4es

Businesses who are interested in participating in the roundtable events can contact the Make It York Business team on business@makeityork.com.   

Safety first

It is of paramount importance that visitors and residents know that they can return to York safely once the lockdown restrictions are lifted. Key to this is the practical safety measures that need to be implemented in order to help create the necessary consumer confidence and get the city’s tourism industry moving again. Detailed plans in this regard are being developed by CYC, York BID, with Make it York assisting with the public real elements. These plans are expected to be published in time for a 15th June wider retail opening date.

More specifically, while Shambles Market, which is run by Make it York, is currently open daily for fresh food traders, including fruit & vegetables, fish and meat, and with measures in place to aid social distancing – plans are underway to implement a number of new health and safety measures with the aim of allowing Shambles Market and Food Court to reopen from 15th June.

Following consultation with trader representatives, measures to be implemented include a one-way system and a re-configuration of the layout of the stalls to improve the flow of customers and minimise disruption to traders. Benches have been removed from the food court area and new signage and barriers will be introduced into the space to aid with social distancing. An external health and safety consultant has also been appointed to carry out a full risk assessment of the space and introduce guidelines for traders around social distancing and general best practice.

We are also going ahead with planning for St Nicholas’ Fair this year, dependent on lockdown restrictions being lifted, and our top priority is to ensure the event is safe and delivered in line with Government guidance. 

Visit York virtually

People might be staying in right now but they can still experience the very best of York without leaving their homes. We are ensuring digital and virtual engagement with the city’s attractions, cultural organisations, tours and festivals through the #YorkatHome hub on Visit York. This website hub showcases some of the inspirational virtual, online and digital things going on in York, to help people learn more about the city and virtually experience #YorkatHome. 

We are also promoting York’s local food and drink businesses with a dedicated Takeaway & Delivery page on visityork.org, listing restaurants and cafes offering delivery services to all customers, here.

We have built an online hub for The Shambles Market traders offering delivery here – and we are currently creating a hub for our member retail businesses in the city who provide an online shopping facility, to help support their businesses. 

York is waiting for you

The first phase of our marketing communications has been to share business advice, information, guidance and available support, while keeping residents and visitors engaged with the city through our Visit York channels, the messaging that ‘York is waiting for you’ and our York at Home hub.

When lockdown restrictions ease and it is safe to do so, we will launch our new marketing campaign, to inspire, engage and bring people into York. This is planned for launch in the summer and will provide inspiration for visits post-lockdown, with the safety message and consumer confidence at its core.

We will be focusing on localhood, supporting local businesses, and promoting safe and responsible tourism. The campaign will appeal to both residents and visitors, and we will work with businesses across the city to showcase the fantastic experiences available and to keep York front of mind as a world-class destination. 

Who we are and what we do

At Make It York, everything we do is to support York’s economic prosperity and the wider wellbeing of our people. We’re a small yet agile organisation working together to promote York nationally and internationally, as a great place to live, visit, study, work and do business.

Working alongside partner organisations, including City of York Council and York BID, we work on business support in the city, inward investment and network building, we manage the Shambles Market and the city centre, implement the city’s Culture Strategy alongside York’s cultural organisations, and lead on place-based marketing.

Whilst Make It York are responsible for city centre footstreets, if you have any queries concerning other areas such as public toilets, street cleaning, security, bins or public transport, we always happy to help and signpost to the relevant organisation or department to speak to within City of York Council. Similarly, for the information about policies regarding the city walls and highways, please contact City of York Council, who lead on this for the city: https://www.york.gov.uk

Contact the Make It York team by emailing info@makeityork.com.

Make It York Weekly Update 28/05/2020

Welcome to the Make It York weekly update, with the latest information and business support measures available during the current coronavirus outbreak, as well as updates on our activities and opportunities to get the most out of working with us.

Case Study: Starbons Ltd

Starbons Limited is a bioscience company based at York Science Park’s Catalyst building which transforms waste into value-adding materials via a unique, patented process. The materials produced have a diverse range of different applications on account of their ability to trap (and release) molecules – which can help in areas such as de-odourisaton (e.g. ostomy bag inserts), metal extraction and recycling, and capturing toxic substances (e.g. for Personal Protective Equipment).

A new start-up business, Starbons started trading with its first customer sales in 2018. The impact of the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in them having to temporarily pause development and manufacturing of their products and as a small company this has a significant impact on cashflow. 

The Make It York business team highlighted the Micro Business Grants scheme to Starbons which they then successfully applied for. This £1000 grant from City of York Council will enable Starbons to work on the development of their website and support patent fee payments required to protect their intellectual property rights.


“This scheme is a lifeline for businesses like ours and the City of York Council should be applauded for their work in getting the grants out so quickly and efficiently. The funding will be of great use to our business and enables us to continue with planned projects such as the development of our website which is really important for our future success. Thanks to the Make It York business team and the work of Simon Middleton, who has been hugely helpful – providing invaluable advice and connections and signposting the link to us for the application. For any businesses who haven’t yet applied and are thinking about it, I would highly recommend doing so as it such a simple process and can make such a difference.

A new start-up business, Starbons started trading with its first customer sales in 2018. The impact of the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in them having to temporarily pause development and manufacturing of their products and as a small company this has a significant impact on cashflow.

The Make It York business team highlighted the Micro Business Grants scheme to Starbons which they then successfully applied for. This £1000 grant from City of York Council will enable Starbons to work on the development of their website and support patent fee payments required to protect their intellectual property rights.”

Susan Brench
CEO OF STARBONS LTD

Festival launch to explore City of York’s road to recovery post COVID-19

The City of York’s response when faced with the COVID-19 pandemic – and its future recovery – will be the topic of an interactive discussion at the online launch of this year’s York Festival of Ideas.

The panel discussion, in partnership with Make It York, will explore how the City can harness the community spirit demonstrated throughout lockdown to achieve inclusive economic recovery in a way that benefits everyone. Audience members will be able to join in the conversation through interactive Q&As.

An expert panel of speakers, chaired by Greg Dyke, former BBC Director General and now Chair of Make It York, will set out York’s ambition to play a key role in a national and international road to economic and societal post-Covid-19 recovery.

The discussion will explore whether York could act as a national pilot location for positive solutions in the coming months, due to its size, economic structure, universities and geography. Speakers at the 2 June event include Joanna Norris, Chief Executive of ChristchurchNZ, who will consider what lessons might be learnt from the way the people of Christchurch, New Zealand, responded to the devastating earthquake of 2011. She will also provide insights into how the Christchurch community has responded to the current crisis, and will explain how ChristchurchNZ is supporting a future-focused economic recovery in this pandemic era.

Professor Charlie Jeffery, Vice-Chancellor of the University of York, will outline ideas for driving skills, innovation, growth, inward investment and support for inclusive economic growth. Signe Jungersted, CEO of Group NAO, helped transform tourism in Copenhagen, and will discuss the future nature of travel and tourism.

York-based Juliana Delaney, CEO of Continuum Attractions, will talk about resilience and the impacts of lockdown, while Walter Boettcher, Chief Economist at Colliers International, will provide a national perspective and outline the reforms and change needed as we plan for the future.

Joan Concannon, Director of York Festival of Ideas, said: “We are thrilled to be launching this year’s Festival with an event exploring how people in York are working together to make a difference in our City.

“As a University our values and commitment to being a university for public good has never been more important and the COVID-19 pandemic has increased our commitment to finding new ways to work with partners across the City to find positive solutions to the crisis and to identify how we can create a roadmap to recovery for York.

“I’d like to thank all our partners, supporters and speakers for helping us to pull together such an amazing Festival programme in record time.”

Greg Dyke, Chair of Make It York, added: “Planning recovery post Covid-19 is hugely complex challenge and there is no doubt that it will be tough. But in some ways it gives York a real opportunity to be ambitious about how economic recovery and growth is driven forward.

“York is a unique city with a history of being able to reinvent itself and show adaptability and resilience in the face of what may seem like insurmountable challenges – and in this event we are setting out to explore how we draw on that spirit in our recovery plan for the city.

“The discussion looks set to be a highly interesting one, with expert speakers from around the world whose insights York can learn from: from economic recovery following the devastating Christchurch earthquakes in New Zealand to how Copenhagan transformed their tourism industry. We will also be hearing from local experts about the impact of lockdown on tourism in York and the changes that we need to make to drive inclusive economic growth in the city.

“I am delighted to be chairing this thought-provoking and stimulating event, on the vision for York’s ambitious plans to drive societal and economic recovery.”

The double award-winning York Festival of ideas will return from 2-14 June 2020 with a programme of more than 60 mostly free online events on the theme of “Virtual Horizons”.

While Covid-19 has meant York Festival of Ideas’ 10th year celebrations are postponed until 2021, a wide range of events will go ahead virtually during its original planned dates.

The programme features talks, interactive Q&As, online workshops, virtual performances, and walking trails around the city; with events covering topics ranging from kimonos to space, from knitting to the future of reality, and from world leaders’ responses to COVID-19 to sustainable living.

The Festival is led by the University of York in collaboration with nearly 30 local and national partners. Taking place for 13 days each June, last year’s Festival welcomed an audience of over 33,000 to 220 events at nearly 50 venues across the city.

After winning the award for Best Cultural Event or Festival at the York Culture awards in 2017, the Festival scooped the award for Outstanding Cultural Festival (Large) in 2018.

To see the full Festival programme and to book tickets visit yorkfestivalofideas.com.

Ends

Make It York Weekly Update 21/05/2020

Welcome to the Make It York weekly update, with the latest information and business support measures available during the current coronavirus outbreak, as well as updates on our activities and opportunities to get the most out of working with us.

Make It York Weekly Update 15/05/2020

Welcome to the Make It York weekly update, with the latest information and business support measures available during the current coronavirus outbreak, as well as updates on our activities and opportunities to get the most out of working with us.

York’s business community to take active role in city’s recovery

A series of virtual ‘roundtables’ aimed at all sectors of York’s business community will play a key first step in recovery planning for the city following the coronavirus outbreak. Working in partnership, Make It York, York BID, City of York Council, Federation of Small Business, York & North Yorkshire Chamber Of Commerce and the Local Economic Partnership are calling for businesses to take part in new sector steering groups. The groups will meet each month, to gather sector specific intelligence and challenges to help best determine the most appropriate opportunities and business support to support the city’s recovery planning. 

The steering groups aim to provide businesses with support tools and guidance, identify opportunities for collaboration and growth, create a peer to peer support forum and act as a way to gather ongoing intelligence across all sectors. This will then feed into wider economic opportunities to support local and regional planning and for lobbying national government for additional support as required. 

Twelve sector groups made up of representatives from across the city’s businesses will be launched with the objective of gaining a deeper understanding of the current issues and challenges businesses are facing – both in terms of short-term impact and the support needed – and the mid to long-term opportunities for recovery.

Monthly virtual ‘roundtables’ will be set up for each of the business sectors with the aim of around 10-15 businesses participating, with all areas of the business community urged to take part –  from small/micro businesses to large organisations. The digital format for the steering group meetings will enable a cross section of businesses from each sector to be involved in the discussions, which aim to gather feedback and act as a catalyst for recovery planning in the city.

The focus for the groups will be to share intelligence and expertise, offer peer to peer support and provide guidance and discussion on a variety of areas including the availability of funding/grants, people management, employee engagement, training needs, customer service and physical city and organisation infrastructure.

Businesses who are interested in participating in the roundtable events can contact the Make It York Business team on business@makeityork.com.   

For further information please contact:

Amy Goodman, Consumer Communications Manager

Email: amy.goodman@makeityork.com

Ana Ignatova – Communications Executive

Email: ana.ignatova@makeityork.com

Make It York Blog – Recovery planning for the city

Make It York’s Managing Director, Sean Bullick, discusses the challenges facing York’s businesses and how we can work together to plan the recovery phase across all sectors…

Make It York held our first virtual Board meeting at the end of last month and the first item on the agenda was, of course, how we are supporting York’s business community during this challenging time. The answer to that, is working flat out to help companies secure the grants and loans they need to survive. Where businesses aren’t eligible for reasons of sector, size or structure, we are instead gathering the evidence and making the case for additional, targeted assistance. We’re also providing advice on everything from furloughing staff and developing access to alternative finance options, to business continuity and adapting business models to cope with the crisis.

It wasn’t long however before the “R” word: recovery, became the focus of the conversation. This is both recovery for Make It York as an organisation, but also primarily recovery for the city and region, and what that might look like: what changes will the crisis have catalyzed, what will be the same and what will be different, what are the common opportunities and those which are specific to York, where will changes be only temporary and where will they be permanent?

Now for Make It York, the answers are relatively simple: we will continue to provide support to businesses in the city along with partners, including the city council, albeit in an evolved form. We will refocus our resources on promoting York as a place to do business, and of course as a world-class destination. We are also starting to plan how we can create a buzz with a range of high-quality events bringing our residents back into the city centre and attracting visitors from further afield once lockdown restrictions are lifted and it’s safe to do so.

Questions of how the city and the economy bounce back, and how people work, live and behave are of course though more fundamental. And there are lots of them: what does all this mean for York’s economy and could, or should, it spur further diversification? Does the crisis make the delivery of York Central even more important? How will our visitor attractions cope with the challenges of social distancing and do those challenges come with any opportunities? What is the scope for our public services to adapt their use of technology to enhance their services? Will the experience of our cultural and creative organisations and businesses allow them to establish additional commercial revenue streams? How will recovery timelines differ from sector to sector? What will be the impact of more blended learning for students and the universities? What have we learned about the benefits of relying on a regional supply chain in a crisis and can this be used to develop stronger regional economic ecosystems? Should York be taking a lead from cities like Milan and considering a post-crisis permanent exclusion of cars from the centre of York? How are open spaces and the city’s parks used and viewed differently, and by whom? What is the likely impact on office space demand of increased home and flexible working? 

Working with businesses across the city to answer some of these questions is why we’re setting up a series of virtual roundtables – in partnership with York BID, City of York Council, Federation of Small Business, York & North Yorkshire Chamber Of Commerce and the Local Economic Partnership – for twelve different sectors in York’s business community. Together we are calling for businesses to take part in these new sector steering groups to develop the city’s recovery planning. 

If your business would like to contribute to this collaborative effort, please get in touch with our business team via business@makeityork.com

The next few months will be undoubtedly challenging for us all, as we face a very different future to the one we imagined at the start of 2020, but now is the ideal time for us to come together and make changes to protect our economy and the city that we live and work in.

Make It York Weekly Update 07/05/2020

Welcome to the Make It York weekly update, with the latest information and business support measures available during the current coronavirus outbreak, as well as updates on our activities and opportunities to get the most out of working with us.

Make It York Weekly Update 30/04/2020

Welcome to the Make It York weekly update, with the latest information and business support measures available during the current coronavirus outbreak, as well as updates on our activities and opportunities to get the most out of working with us.

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