Brittany Guymer

Rugby in York to benefit from transformational Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 legacy programme Impact ‘25 

Download high-res images here. 

  • Impact ’25 will be delivered by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) in partnership with UK Government, Sport England and UK Sport. 
  • £12.13m already committed to the women’s and girls’ grassroots game across the country.   
  • Rugby World Cup 2025, a joint venture between World Rugby and the RFU, will be a spectacular celebration of women’s rugby and an era-defining tournament that will set new standards, attract new audiences and provide a catalyst to nationwide rugby growth. 
  • York Rugby Union to be one of the many clubs chosen to benefit from the Impact ‘25 programme 
  • York Community Stadium will be Rugby World Cup host venue in next year’s tournament. 
  • The legacy programme is designed to supercharge the growth of women’s and girls’ rugby throughout Yorkshire and the Humber and beyond 
  • Today also marks 500 days until the tournament kicks off at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light on 22 August 2025. 

 
The RFU has today celebrated Impact ’25, a transformational legacy programme that has already seen £12.13m of Government funding committed to women and girls’ grassroots rugby as part of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025, with the aim of growing the game throughout the country.  

Impact ’25 will be delivered by the RFU in partnership with UK Government, Sport England and UK Sport. The programme will provide substantial improvements in facilities and greater opportunities for females at all levels of the game in England, with a range of support being offered to clubs across four key pillars: Facility Development, Coaches and Match Officials, Playing and Volunteering, and Community and Fan Engagement.  

To mark 500 days to go to the curtain-raiser of Rugby World Cup 2025, the tournament legacy programme was celebrated today by Councillor Claire Douglas, York Rugby Union Youth Section and the Rugby Football Union. 

Thanks to Impact ‘25, 25 clubs have been awarded funding to upgrade toilet facilities and 23 have been provided with sanitary packages, with 3 larger grants for clubs to develop social spaces and changing rooms, all aimed at making rugby clubs more welcoming and inclusive of female players.  50 coaches and match officials have been supported with their development in order to increase the number, quality and visibility of female coaches and match officials in rugby and 27 clubs have received grants to start up U12s activity to bring more girls who have never been involved in the sport, into rugby clubs. 

York Rugby Union (YRUFC) is one of the organisations set to benefit from the impact programme. Established in 1928, over 400 young boys and girls now play for the club, with the need for an increase in female players being outlined for the 2024/2025 season. Funding from the Impact ‘25 Programme will allow infrastructural updates to the rugby grounds and enable volunteers to attend England Rugby Union courses to ensure they have the coaching skills required to inspire the next generation of players. 

The aim of Impact ‘25 is to accelerate the growth of women’s rugby and help the RFU achieve its ambition of 100,000 female players by 2027. The women’s game in England is already flourishing from the grassroots level through to the elite; the Red Roses are currently ranked the number one team in the world, while the participation number for women and girls have risen to over 40,000 with more than 800 clubs offering women’s and girls’ rugby.  

Next year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 and its legacy programme will be a game-changer for women’s participation across the sport, shaping positive perceptions at all levels of the game and benefitting local communities. The tournament promises to be an era-defining celebration of women’s rugby with unprecedented levels of engagement throughout the country and beyond.  York Community Stadium is among eight host venues for the tournament. The World Cup kicks off in Sunderland on 22 August 2025, with the final being held at the iconic Twickenham Stadium.  The ambition is to sell-out Twickenham and break the current world record attendance of 58,498 set by the Red Roses in April 2023.   

Impact ‘25 funding began in the 2022-23 season and was awarded for four years until 2025-26. The funding is being utilised increase access to rugby for women and girls, in line with the RFU’s Every Rose action plan and the tournament’s goal to reach new audiences and inspire a generation of fans.​ All home nations will benefit from funding to help develop female coaches and match officials. 

Councillor Claire Douglas, Leader of City of York Council said: “It was great to visit York RUFC to meet some of the junior teams and see the incredible work the club is doing. Hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup next year is already having an impact with some funding being made available to improve facilities at community sports clubs and encourage new players to take up the sport. 

“York RUFC is one of a number of community sports clubs doing fantastic things across the city. In York, we are really looking forward to hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 and welcoming world-class athletes from a range of nations to our city in only 500 days time. Our hope is that this tournament inspires a new generation of players into rugby and other sports, in line with our Council Plan ambition to help people to live happier, healthier lives.” 

Bill Sweeney, CEO, RFU said: “The opportunity to grow the women’s game was a primary driver behind our bid to host Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025, and we are very grateful to Government for committing funding to this transformational programme as part of the tournament. 

“Working together with Government, UK Sport, Sport England and World Rugby we will create a legacy for women’s rugby in England and the home nations, both in terms of attracting more fans and people to play, coach, officiate, and volunteer. 

“We are already seeing huge strides forwards being made thanks to Impact ‘25 and look forward to seeing further progress over the coming months and years.” 

Stuart Andrew, Sports Minister, said: “The UK is world-leading when it comes to hosting major sporting events, with the benefits of these events starting well before they kick off, and continuing long after they end. 
 
“With the Women’s Rugby World Cup round the corner, this legacy programme is already impacting communities, and will continue to ensure greater opportunities for women and girls to play sport for many years to come. 
 
“Impact ’25 will help with our target to get 3.5 million more children and adults active by 2030 and is on top of £400 million being invested by the Government in high-quality grassroots sports facilities around the UK.” 

Lisa Dodd-Mayne, Executive Director, Place at Sport England, said: “Rugby has so much to offer women and girls – from better physical and mental health to the development of sporting skills and a sense of community and belonging that only sport can give.   

“Encouraging and enabling more women and girls to find their way into sport and physical activity is at the core of our Uniting the Movement strategy.  We support the RFU’s target of getting 100,000 women and girls playing rugby by 2027.   We have made progress towards this and the Rugby World Cup 2025 and the Impact Programme will play a key role in achieving this.  It is important we work together to maximise the impact that the World Cup will have, ensuring that more women and girls get the opportunity to participate in their communities and enjoy the benefit of great facilities and other support to realise their potential.” 

Sarah Bern, Red Roses prop said: “We’ve seen huge developments in the women’s game over the past few years and the investment from Impact ‘25 and the awareness next year’s Rugby World Cup will bring to rugby is only going to help drive that growth even further. I am so excited to see the impact that next year’s tournament will have on growing the sport that I love so much.” 

Amber Reed, Red Roses centre added: “It’s so great to see the ever-growing number of opportunities to get involved in rugby whether that be through playing, being a match official, as a coach or in a volunteer role. Rugby has given me so much and I’m so excited to see other women and girls have their lives positively changed by our sport thanks to Impact ’25 – I’d strongly encourage anyone who’s interested to get involved in the sport.” 

Sarah Massey, Managing Director, Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025, said: “The Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 will be a generational moment for rugby that will inspire the next generation of players and welcome new fans to the sport. 

“Impact ’25 provides an unprecedented opportunity to grow the game, benefitting local communities across the nation by creating more opportunities for women and girls to get involved in playing, officiating and coaching. 

“This significant investment will be crucial for our host cities and local stakeholders, who are committed to developing women’s rugby in their communities and providing an inclusive environment for everyone involved in the game.” 

Ends 

Notes to Editor 

Photo credit to Make It York 

Cllr Claire Douglas and players from York Rugby Union Youth Section. Left to right: Ella Briggs, Tilly Goforth, Isabella Hill, Ieuan Murray-Cook, Bea Steel, Emelia Wood, Amelia Turnbull, Hettie Rigby and Henry Steel. 

Rugby in York to benefit from transformational Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 legacy programme Impact ‘25  Read More »

Winners of the Visit York Tourism Awards 2024 Revealed

Last night (14 March), the winners of the Visit York Tourism Awards were revealed at a prestigious awards ceremony at York Racecourse. The Visit York Tourism Awards, sponsored by LNER, recognise and celebrate the best of York’s businesses across tourism, hospitality and culture with the chance to win one of 17 awards.

Hosted by Chris Marsden and Claire Pulpher at YO1 Radio, the awards will then see eligible winners across a number of categories automatically put forward for the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2024.

This year’s winners include The Grand York, who take Large Hotel of the Year with judges commenting on the ‘exceptionally high standards’ of luxury across the hotel and their ability to create ‘memorable and enjoyable moments for guests’. Small Hotel of the Year then went to The Pheasant Hotel, for their ‘luxurious’ rooms and dinner menu of ‘excellent quality.’

Elsewhere in accommodation, MonkBridge House took the award for B&B and Guest House of the Year, with judges commenting on their ‘clear passion for their business’ which has led to ‘excellent customer service’ for visitors. Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year was awarded to 101 House At The End, with judges saying how the business ‘operates with huge care and attention to detail.’

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year was awarded to High Oaks Grange, with Judges praising the overall atmosphere of the site and saying ‘Nick and his team can be proud of what they have achieved.’

Pub of the Year was awarded to The Lime Tree Inn, which was praised for being ‘in a lovely setting, very relaxing and beautifully furnished.’

Legacy at The Grand was the winner of the Taste of England Award, with judges describing the restaurant as ‘consistently outstanding’ with a team that had ‘excellent knowledge of the food and drink.’

This year’s Large Visitor Attraction of the Year went to The York Dungeon, with judges commenting to say the ‘actors were superb’ and it was ‘one of the best attractions I’ve ever visited’. The Small Attraction of the Year winner was World of James Herriot, with judges praising how the team can be ‘proud of how unbelievably clean, pristine and well-presented it is throughout.’

New to this year, the Wizard Walk of York has taken both the New Tourism Business Award and The Best of York Award, with judges calling the tour ‘pure feel-good’ and commenting that they ‘haven’t smiled and laughed continually so much in ages.

Experience of the Year was awarded to The Deathly Dark Tours, with judges commenting that there was ‘no room for improvement’ and the overall ‘experience was fantastic.’ The Deathly Dark Tours also went on to win Independent Business of the Year, as judges ‘loved the approach’ and the ‘entertaining features that also inform and educate’.

The Potions Cauldron took Retailer of the Year, with judges praising their ‘excellent growth’ and ‘impressive’ performance.

Business Event Venue of the Year was won by The Guildhall, York with judges commenting that the ‘ambience of the building is excellent’ and it ‘provides business event delegates with a calming feelings in high-quality surroundings.

Christmas at Castle Howard was awarded the Event, Festival or Cultural Experience of the Year award with judges calling it ‘an opulent and magical event in a stunning setting.’

New to this year in partnership with the Hospitality Association York (HAY), the Hospitality Hero award was won by Indra Petersone from Hilton, York.

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “A huge congratulations to our thoroughly deserving winners and finalists at this year’s Visit York Tourism Awards. Every business and organisation nominated tonight have helped establish York as the incredible, award-winning, world-class city that we’re recognised to be. The Visit York Tourism Awards really do celebrate the best in tourism, hospitality and culture, congratulations to everyone involved.”

David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said: “Congratulations to the winners at this year’s Visit York Tourism Awards and those who were shortlisted. York has a huge amount to offer visitors and continues to be one of the most popular destinations on the LNER route. We’re therefore very proud to continue to support the awards which shine a spotlight on the individuals and businesses that work tirelessly to make the city a brilliant place to visit.”

Adam Wardale, Chair of Hospitality Association York says: “What a night! We we’re delighted to see so many incredible businesses being celebrated, we’re incredibly proud to be part of a city providing such amazing experiences. A special mention to the winner of our Hospitality Hero Award, Indra, and to our highly commended finalist Julia – who seamlessly demonstrate everything our industry represents! On behalf of all of my HAY colleagues, huge congratulations to all winners and businesses.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Winners of Visit York Tourism Awards 2024: (*in alphabetical order)

Business Event Venue of the Year, sponsored by Business Enterprise Fund

Winner: The Guildhall, York

Finalists: The Guildhall York, and City Cruises

B&B and GuestHouse of the Year, sponsored by The York Roast Co.

Winner: MonkBridge House

Finalists: MonkBridge House, The Bar Convent Guest House, The Fat Badger, York

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year, sponsored by Morrell Middleton

Winner: High Oaks Grange

Finalists: Flaxton Meadows, Wigwam Holidays Ball Hall Farm, High Oaks Grange

Event, Festival or Cultural Experience of the Year, sponsored by North York Moors National Park

Winner: Christmas at Castle Howard

Finalists: Christmas at Castle Howard, Hallow Scream at York Maze, York Pride, York Mansion House

Experience of the Year, sponsored by LNER

Winner: The Deathly Dark Tours

Finalists: Sharmini’s Inspirational Indian Cuisine, The Bloody Tour of York, The Deathly Dark Tours, The Wizard Walk of York

Independent Business of the Year, sponsored by Latimer by Clarion Housing Group

Winner: The Deathly Dark Tours

Finalists: Avorium, The Deathly Dark Tours, The Wizard Walk of York, Breezy Knees Gardens

Large Hotel of the Year, sponsored by Streamline Taxis

Winner: The Grand

Highly Commended: Middletons Hotel

Finalists: Middletons Hotel, Moxy York, The Grand

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year, sponsored by Ward Hadaway

Winner: The York Dungeon

Finalists: The York Dungeon, National Railway Museum, The Web Adventure Park, Yorkshire Air Museum

New Tourism Business Award, sponsored by PPS Essentials

Winner: Wizard Walk of York

Highly Commended: Hart Lake Escapes

Finalists: Hart Lake Escapes, The Wizard Walk of York, Hocus Pocus Tiny Hotel

Pub of the Year, sponsored by Hunter Gee Holroyd

Winner: The Lime Tree Inn

Finalists: The Lime Tree Inn, The Fat Badger York, Social 8 Lounge, the Drovers Arms Restaurant and Country Pub

Retailer of the Year, sponsored by York BID

Winner: The Potions Cauldron

Finalists: York Gin, Love Cheese, The Potions Cauldron

Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year, sponsored by Pyper

Winner: 101 House at the End

Finalists: Roomzzz Aparthotel York, 101 House at the End

Small Hotel of the Year, sponsored by Booking.com

Winner: The Pheasant Hotel

Finalists: The Pheasant Hotel, Clementine’s Town house, Hocus Pocus Tiny Hotel

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year, sponsored by Shambles Market

Winner: World of James Herriot

Finalists: The Bar Convent Heritage Centre, World of James Herriot, The Hole in Wand, York Army Museum

Taste of England Award, sponsored by Fowlers of York

Winner: Legacy at The Grand

Finalists: Legacy at The Grand, Fish & Forest, Ate O’Clock

The Best of York Award, sponsored by York St John University

Winner: The Wizard Walk of York

Finalists: The Wizard Walk of York, Millers Fish & Chips, The Bloody Tour of York

Hospitality Hero Award, in partnership with Hospitality Association York (HAY)

Winner: Indra Petersone from Hilton York

Highly Commended: Julia Betteridge from Middlethorpe Hall & Spa

Finalists: Hannah Mather from The Principal York, Indra Petersone from Hilton York, Julia Betteridge from Middlethorpe Hall & Spa, Sean Alton from York Dungeon

Find out more about the Visit York Tourism Awards 2024 at visityork.org/tourismawards

For more information, please contact:

Communications Team at Make It York

Comms@makeityork.com

Winners of the Visit York Tourism Awards 2024 Revealed Read More »

Damaged Snooks

Make It York regrets to announce that two of its prized Snook sculptures have been damaged. From feedback, we believe the incidents occurred in the late evenings or overnight and unfortunately due to the sculptures being kicked, hit with force or climbed on. 

The trail is a community initiative in partnership with charity St Leonard’s Hospice and a free, family friendly activity for residents and visitors to explore our beloved city.  

After the trail has ended, the sculptures are due to be auctioned in a charity event to raise funds that will be split between St Leonard’s Hospice, for the life-changing support provide every day, and York Creates Fund, micro-fund that supports cultural and creative activity in the city. 

The vandalism-induced damage is deeply disheartening, and regrettably, this unfortunate incident adversely impacts everyone involved, including our valued charity partners, the Snook sponsors, and sculpture artists. 

Make It York recognizes the disappointment and concern this incident may have caused and is committed to rectifying the damage and ensuring the restoration of the sculptures to its former glory. Signage and barriers have been erected to minimise further damage and safety to visitors. We have taken immediate action by working with the production team, Norse Sky, in repairing the sculptures. As this will be off site, the sculptures will be temporarily removed, which we recognise the disappointment.  

The damaged sculptures are Number 19, Harald Hardreader located at Coppergate Centre, and Number 1, Snooks Love All Books located at Parliament Street. The sculptures are part of York’s first character trail across the city and one of the 21 Snooks on display until 25 April 2024. 

We extend our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused and express gratitude for the continued support and understanding from the community. If you notice any misbehaviours or damage to the sculptures, please do call the York Visitor Information Team on 0190 455 5670. 

Damaged Snooks Read More »

York Character Trail: The Snooks are in York! 

York’s first character trail will begin this weekend (2-3 March), with an exciting range of activity taking place across the city to kickstart the arrival of 21 Snooks in the city.  

As part of the York Literature Festival at York Explore on Museum Street, York Fostering Service and York Mumbler will be hosting a series of sessions and activities from partners across the city in a fun and tailored launch weekend programme of activities. Just a little further out of the city centre, Delta Hotels by York Marriott and Little Vikings (York for Kids) are hosting a live doodling of their jointly sponsored Snook with Croyden-based artist Frankie Curtis. 

Saturday (2nd) will also see York Roast Co announce some exciting giveaways at St Sampsons Square, the chance to learn more about St Leonard’s Hospice on Parliament Street, and watch as Art of Protest Projects host two workshops with The Island teaching young people spray paint art skills.  

Organised by Make It York with charity partner St Leonard’s Hospice, 21 Snooks will be hiding amongst the historic cobbled streets and secret gardens of York for residents and visitors to find between March and April.   

Each Snook will unveil a mystery letter that will form a password to unlock secret prizes on the Visit York website. 

The Snooks have been designed by Yorkshire artist Sian Ellis and each sculpture has been sponsored by local businesses, with some being joint sponsored, and paired with artists across the UK to decorate their individual Snooks. 

For more information and a full list of sculptures, locations and sponsors, please visit the website or download the Snook Trail Map here.  

ENDS 

For more information, contact:  

Helen Williams, Corporate Partnerships Development Lead at St Leonards Hospice, helen.williams146@nhs.net   

Brittany Guymer, Communications & Marketing Executive at Make It York, comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors:  

Pictured is Kerry, Hospice@Home care assistant (right) and Laura, deputy sister on the St Leonard’s Hospice in-patient unit. 

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. 

About St Leonard’s Hospice  

St Leonard’s Hospice is an independent charity, providing specialist palliative care, and support for local people with life-limiting illnesses.  We’re dedicated to providing support tailored to the specific needs of patients, and their families and carers, with a wide range of services offered in a relaxed and friendly environment where care is taken personally. 

York Character Trail: The Snooks are in York!  Read More »

Visit York Tourism Awards: ‘Hospitality Hero’ Award Finalists Revealed

Finalists in the Visit York Tourism Awards ‘Hospitality Hero’ shortlist have been revealed.  

A new award to 2024 organised in partnership with the Hospitality Association York (HAY), the ‘Hospitality Hero’ award will be presented as part of the glitzy ceremony at York Racecourse on 14 March 2024. The award recognises the contributions of an individual who plays an integral role within a hospitality business, and the vital part they play within their team and in welcoming guests to the city.

The shortlist includes:

  • Hannah Mather from The Principal, York
  • Indra Peterson from Hilton York
  • Julia Betteridge from Middlethorpe Hall & Spa
  • Sean Alton from York Dungeon

Nominations were welcome from both Visit York and Hospitality Association York (HAY) members, with the application deadline being the 21st December 2023.

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director of Make It York, says: “We’re thrilled to work so closely with HAY, showcasing our incredibly strong hospitality industry and the individuals that make it such a joy with their hard work and passion. A huge congratulations to our finalists who been announced today and have demonstrated excellence in providing the ultimate welcome to visitors in the city. Our vibrant city really does have so much to offer, and our hospitality industry is one of many ways in which we are incredibly proud. We look forward to celebrating these achievements and more at the ceremony in March.”

Adam Wardale, Chair of Hospitality Association York says: “HAY are delighted to be working with Visit York to shine the spotlight on our cities Hospitality Heroes. York is a vibrant city with a strong tourism offering, and at the heart of the attractions, hotels and all visitor services are the people who make it shine. This award recognises the passion, hard work and dedication of individuals who play a vital part in welcoming visitors to York. It was fantastic to see so many nominations and it’s been truly heart-warming to read all of the amazing things the nominees are doing, not only in their own business but also in the local community. Shortlisting the finalists wasn’t an easy task, and it was even harder to pick a winner – we’re looking forward to celebrating them all at the awards in March!”

Tickets for the glittering awards ceremony event on Thursday 14th March 2024 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

NOTES TO EDITORS:

For more information, please contact:

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. 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

Visit York Tourism Awards: ‘Hospitality Hero’ Award Finalists Revealed Read More »

York Christmas Market wins Best Large Speciality Market at NABMA’s Great British Market Awards 

York Christmas Market has won the ‘Best Large Speciality Market’ category at the Great British Market Awards, organised by The National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA). We share this alongside Strafford upon Avon. 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director of Make It York, said: “We are extremely proud and privileged to have won the Best Large Speciality Market in the UK. We could not have achieved this accolade without the support of our partners, local businesses and the City of York Council. A huge thank you to the wide array of local traders and local businesses that get involved and support the Christmas Market and Christmas festivities year on year. 

Lots of work was done this year ensuring past feedback was taken into consideration, a great example of this is the new layout which we received lots of positive feedback from those attending and trading.”  

The Christmas Market really showcases York at it’s very best and is a brilliant example of how both residents and visitors support Yorkshire based businesses and encourages repeat visitors throughout the year. York really is the most Festive Place in the UK. 

Research shows York Christmas Market has had a positive impact on the city’s economy and local businesses. Infact, it returns over £80m into the local economy with 68% of visitors going on to shop elsewhere in the city and 71% spending time eating at local restaurants and cafes. 22% of visitors stayed overnight. 54% went to the Minster, Museums and attractions, as part of the day or overnight visit. 

The Market featured in 174 pieces of print and online coverage, with a reach of 42 million and a value of £1.2 million.  

Following York Christmas Market 2023, 100% of Christmas Traders have registered interest in taking part in the York Christmas Market 2024, with 92% agreeing that the new layout worked well and 86%  

*Data based on interviews with 80 market traders and 216 visitors to the York Christmas Market 2023.  

NOTES TO EDITORS: 

For more information, please contact: 

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. 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 

About NABMA 

The National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) have been representing and working on behalf of our member markets for more than 100 years. Markets from across the whole of the UK form our membership. NABMA works with a range of organisations including Government to promote and campaign for markets. 
 
To find out more about NABMA visit the website: nabma.com 

York Christmas Market wins Best Large Speciality Market at NABMA’s Great British Market Awards  Read More »

Photo Story: Snooks to Showcase York in London

Yesterday (15th January) Make It York showcased a first look at five of the 23 Snooks that would be part of the York Character Trail coming to the city between March and April 2024. 

The Snooks could be found at London Kings Cross, alongside a Tansy Beetle Canvas to represent the York Trailblazers Trail, and an impressive ice sculpture of the London to York skyline to represent York Ice Trail, to celebrate an exciting year of trails happening in York in 2024.

The activation in Kings Cross showcased the exciting events York has to offer in the upcoming months to a national audience, and highlight the short travel time from London to York. 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director of Make It York, says: “We’ve had a wonderful day at London Kings Cross today, promoting York Ice Trail, Snook Character Trail and York Trailblazers Trail. It’s an exciting time for us to be shouting about how great our city is to a more national audience and encouraging people to visit for short stay city breaks. Thank you to all the wonderful businesses and organisations taking part in the trails, and special thanks to Middletons Hotel, City Cruises York and St Leonard’s Hospice for joining us in London.”

James Wainwright, Head of Fundraising at St Leonard’s Hospice says: “The Snooks Trail is a new and exciting way for St Leonard’s to remind people why we’re here and of the difference we make for people in York and the surrounding area. This will be a really high-profile event for York, with the exciting prospect of the sculptures being auctioned off in May to help even more patients and their families in future.” 

Chris Pegg, Head of Commercial, Sales & Marketing at City Cruises York, says, ““We’re supporting the Snooks trail as it is a fantastic opportunity to enhance the profile of our beautiful city and allows visitors to explore York’s incredibly rich heritage. Visit York have done amazingly to launch the trail from Kings Cross, and we’re proud to support them today in representing the city and driving footfall.”

Middletons Hotel say, “Middletons Hotel has always been a huge supporter of the annual York Ice Trail, so when Make It York announced the Snooks Trail 2024, it was an event we were keen to be involved in. Not only is it an exciting new experience that’s accessible to all, but it’s an opportunity to encourage visitors and families from London into York while also supporting St Leonard’s Hospice – a charity very close to our hearts. We’re absolutely delighted to be joining Make It York and the other sponsors at Kings Cross Station.”

High-res images can be downloaded here(photography credit: Make It York)

Please contact comms@makeityork.com for any interview requests. 

*Snooks featured have been sponsored by City Cruises York, Middletons Hotel, St Leonard’s Hospice, YDL Distribution and Logistics, and York’s Chocolate Story

Photo Story: Snooks to Showcase York in London Read More »

York Residents’ Festival 2024: Free entry and money off over 50 of York’s top attractions, restaurants, bars and retailers 

The annual York Residents’ Festival returns on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th January 2024. Organised by Make It York to kick start an exciting 2024 year of events, there are over 50 events and offers for residents to take advantage of. 

Historical attractions such as York Minster, JORVIK Viking Centre, Clifford’s Tower, Fairfax House, Barley Hall and Merchant Adventurers’ Hall will be opening their doors for free to residents across the weekend. Residents can also take advantage of a free river cruise with City Cruises, free wizard golf at The Hole in Wand and the first 100 visitors can visit for free at York’s Chocolate Story.  

There are great offers at some of York’s popular eateries and restaurants including The Grand, Rio Brazilian Steakhouse York, Ambiente Tapas and Pearly Cow. Plus, there are a range of retail offers exclusively for residents at Avorium, York Gin, Love Cheese, Potions Cauldron and many more. 

For those preferring to explore by foot, there are some great offers and discounts on walking tours and outdoor activities. Mountain Goat will be taking residents off the beaten path to explore the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, join The Wizard of York for a family-friendly walk of York that promises to be spellbinding or learn to abseil and climb Brimham Rocks.  

To take advantage of the great offers during Residents’ Festival, please present a valid York Card, student card or identity card that proves York residency. If presenting an identity card, such as a driving license or older person’s bus pass, this must clearly state ‘York’.  

For the full list of offers for York Residents’ Festival, and for pre-booking information, visit the Visit York website. Please note, some venues and activities require pre-booking. 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: ‘We’re delighted that we have so many York businesses providing fantastic offers for Residents’ Festival weekend in January. This is a great opportunity for residents to rediscover some of the brilliant attractions, retail and food offers on their doorstop. A huge thank you to our Visit York members for coming together to provide so many brilliant offers, there’s something for everyone during this fun-packed weekend” 

ENDS 

Notes to Editors 

Please refer to the Visit York website for the most up-to-date list of offers here

You can get a York Card at Explore York Libraries and Archives, or online here

For more information or interview enquiries, please contact:  

Brittany Guymer, Communications and Marketing Executive  

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. 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 Residents’ Festival 2024: Free entry and money off over 50 of York’s top attractions, restaurants, bars and retailers  Read More »

York Character Trail 2024: Snooks to Showcase York in London 

Make It York to reveal a first look at four of the 23 Snooks that will be hidden throughout the city’s cobbled streets and secret gardens between March and April 2024, as part of York’s first character trail. 

Make It York will be showcasing four of the snooks at London Kings Cross Station on Monday 15th January, as part of ongoing marketing activity to celebrate an exciting year of trails in York this year. They’ll be opportunities to see the Snook’s up-close and in person, take plenty of photos with the 6ft sculptures, and learn more about the upcoming trails and events in the city.  

As part of Yorks City of Trails campaign, the four Snooks will also appear alongside a Tansy Beetle canvas to represent the York Trailblazers Trail, taking place throughout the Autumn, and an impressive ice sculpture of the London to York skyline to represent the York Ice Trail, taking place in February.  

The activation in Kings cross station aims to showcase the exciting events York has to offer these upcoming months to a national audience, along with highlighting the short travel time to the City from London and supporting short stay city breaks. 

The Snooks will be the subject of a free 8-week trail across York city centre from March to April 2024, organised by Make It York with charity partner St Leonard’s Hospice. The character was designed by Yorkshire artist Sian Ellis and each sculpture has been sponsored by local businesses, with some being joint sponsored, and paired with artists across the UK to decorate their individual Snooks. 

In alphabetical order, the full list of sponsors are: 

  1. Art of Protest – Art of Protest Projects is a York based arts and engagement business who use the practice of Street Art to connect with young people of all backgrounds and diversities. This complements our main business which is curating and creating large scale Street Art programmes throughout the cities and towns of the UK.
  1. Aviva – one of the UK’s leading Insurance, Wealth & Retirement businesses operating in the UK, Ireland and Canada, with a key office based in York. 
  1. City Cruises York – offering a unique perspective of York on-board their comfortable riverboats, you can enjoy sightseeing trips, fish & chip cruises, party cruises and self-drive boats to explore the city down the beautiful River Ouse. 
  1. City of York Council fostering team in partnership with York Mumbler – City of York Council support a diverse community of foster carers who provide nurturing homes for some of York’s children and young people when they need it the most. York Mumbler is York’s largest parenting community and information website, showcasing interesting blogs and city-wide listing to inspire family-friendly activities and days-out throughout York and North Yorkshire.   
  1. Delta Hotels by Marriott York in partnership with Little Vikings – overlooking the beautiful York Racecourse, businesses and visitors can enjoy a scenic escape to York with comfortable rooms, high-speed wifi, a gym and a Cast Iron Bar & Grill with Delta Hotels by Marriot York. Little Vikings is an award-winning, independent print and online guide to the best of York (and beyond) for families, founded and run by a York family with three children. 
  1. Greatest Hits Radio – a classic hits radio network in the UK, playing the biggest songs of the  70’s, 80’s and 90’s. 
  1. JORVIK Viking Centre – experience the sights, sounds and even smells of Viking-york as our famous ride takes you through a reconstructed village. After meeting the inhabitants visit the gallery to see some of the most significant Viking-age artefacts in the UK.   
  1. LNER – a British train operating company taking you from the panoramic views of the Scottish Highlands to the hustle and bustle of London, and so many beautiful places in between. LNER’s headquarters are based in York. 
  1. Make It York – York’s Destination Management Organisation, responsible for city centre management and development of the city’s many festivals, events and markets. This includes Shambles Market, an award-winning outdoor market home to York’s largest collection of independent traders. 
  1. Middleton’s Hotel – a four-star, award-winning hotel which boasts unrivalled architecture, historic roots and 56 individually designed bedrooms across six, Grade II and Grade II* listed buildings. 
  1. The National Railway Museum – home to iconic locomotives and an unrivalled collection that celebrates the past, present and future of the railways. Plus, a brand-new interactive space for families, Wonderlab: The Bramall Gallery. Visitors will be amazed as they discover science in action with live experiments and explosive live shows. 
  1. St Leonards Hospice– an independent charity, providing specialist palliative care, and support for local people with life-limiting illnesses. 
  1. YDL – one of North Yorkshire’s largest independent carriers, offering Storage and Warehousing services and specialising in Parcel and Pallet Distribution. YDL is the Snook Trail Logistics Partner. 
  1. The York BID – a group of York residents who are passionate about the city and work hard to build partnerships with key stakeholders to make impactful change for people who work, live and visit the city. 
  1. York Barbican – the largest music and arts venue in York, hosting some of the biggest touring acts in the country. The venue offers a diverse programme of world-class events, including comedy, a range of live bands, sports, family shows and community events. 
  1. York Central – one of the UK’s largest brownfield regeneration sites. Located next to York Railway Station, the 45 hectare mixed-use development site will aim to bring new homes, new jobs and new retails and leisure spaces to the city. 
  1. York’s Chocolate Story – an entertaining and educational guided-tour through the fascinating history of York’s most famous chocolate-making families and their finest creations. Visitors can learn about the origins of chocolate, how to make it, and how to taste it through interactive exhibits and chocolate-making workshops. 
  1. York Park & Ride – park for free across six sites across York to enjoy a great value, easy ride into the city on 100% electric, zero emission buses. 
  1. York Roast Co – keeping the UK fed with hearty roast dinner-inspired dishes, using high quality British ingredients with a side of friendly customer service and a touch of Yorkshire charm. 
  1. York St John University – transforming lives through education, York St John are passionate about giving students a teaching and learning environment that is safe, exciting, inclusive and inspirational, within the centre of York. 
  1. The Yorkshire Museum – showcasing some of Britain’s finest Roman, Viking, Medieval and Jurassic finds within the beautiful historic setting of the Museum Gardens 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director of Make It York said, “It’s amazing to be able to work with so many incredible businesses and organisations who help make York a great city for residents and visitors alike, and especially being able to partner with St Leonard’s Hospice who make such a difference to people during such difficult times.  

The trail will provide opportunities for residents and visitors to discover more of our wonderful city and interact with businesses, charities, and attractions. We can’t wait for the Trail to begin in March, and we’re delighted that local businesses are just as excited as we are for their launch.” 

James Wainwright, Head of Fundraising at St Leonard’s Hospice says: “The Snooks Trail is a new and exciting way for St Leonard’s to remind people why we’re here and of the difference we make for people in York and the surrounding area. This will be a really high-profile event for York, with the exciting prospect of the sculptures being auctioned off in May to help even more patients and their families in future.” 

ENDS 

 
For more information: 

Helen Williams, Corporate Partnerships Development Lead at St Leonards Hospice, 

helen.williams146@nhs.net 

Brittany Guymer, Communications & Marketing Executive at Make It York  

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 

About St Leonard’s Hospice 

St Leonard’s Hospice is an independent charity, providing specialist palliative care, and support for local people with life-limiting illnesses.  We’re dedicated to providing support tailored to the specific needs of patients, and their families and carers, with a wide range of services offered in a relaxed and friendly environment where care is taken personally. 

York Character Trail 2024: Snooks to Showcase York in London  Read More »

PHOTO STORY: First Look at York Ice Trail 2024

Download high-res images here (photo credit: Charlotte Graham) 

Let your creativity run wild in the’ City Of Dreams’ at York Ice Trail 2024. Organised by Make It York, with main sponsors York Park & Ride and York BID, the hugely popular free event returns on the 3rd and 4th February.    

The first look at one of this year’s sculptures has been revealed. Photographed by Charlotte Graham on High Petergate, with the backdrop of the magnificent York Minster, Make It York’s ‘City Of Dreams’ is one of 33 sculptures set to line York’s historic streets during York Ice Trail.  

The grounds of Middletons Hotel will be transformed into a mystical wonka world of chocolate during the trail, including 4 show-stopping sculptures from City Cruises, York Chocolate Story, Potion’s Cauldron and Middletons themselves.   

Discover York BID’s mythical creatures as they roam the city – keep an eye out for the Himalayan Yeti, brave the terrifying Kraken, meet the nine-headed Hydra, take selfies with the majestic Unicorn and marvel at the immortal Phoenix.  

Explore the spectacular skyline of York and London with Grand Central and their sculpture ‘A journey in ice’, or ‘Fly into York with P&R’ to take a magical bus journey through the clouds from sponsors York Park & Ride.  

Head over to St Sampson’s Square and let the ice sculpturers from Icebox transport you to the Arctic. Watch them work their magic and transform an ice cube into a work of art directly in front of your eyes! 

York Ice Trail 2024 will once again see the ‘coolest’ sculptures around the city, all sponsored and concepted by local businesses. UK and Europe’s leading ice specialists, Icebox will design and create all the sculptures for the 2024 trail for the third year.   

Free York Ice Trail maps will be available from the Visitor Information Centre at 21 Parliament Street or can be downloaded online at visityork.org/york-ice-trail from the end of January. 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director of Make It York, said: “York Ice Trail is a beautiful event loved by residents and visitors alike. We’re incredibly thankful to all the brilliant local businesses who support the York Ice Trail and to all our sponsors – their support makes it possible for us to keep running these free events in the city. Our ice partners, Icebox, have also done an incredible job at creating these ice sculptures and bringing the ideas to life. We’re excited to shortly be able to unveil these incredible ice creations to the public.” 

Carl Alsop, Operations Manager at York BID, says: “‘We’re excited to be sponsoring York’s Ice Trail, it’s always a great event which attracts both residents and visitors to all areas of our beautiful city. This year York BID have five sculptures in the trail, all depicting well known mythical creatures. Whether you’re taking a photo with our unicorn, or braving a selfie with the kraken, it’s sure to be a memorable weekend.’ 

The last York Ice Trail took place in February 2023 and was a huge success. Over 40,000 visitors came to the city to view the 36 ice sculptures that lined the streets over the weekend. Research commissioned with Qa Research showed that 9 out of 10 visitors would recommend the trail to family and friends, with 4 out of 5 saying they would want to return for the next Ice Trail. 

The free trail also had a positive impact on businesses in the city, with 85% of visitors eating out or drinking in cafes, bars and restaurant, and almost 50% likely to go shopping. 

For more information, visit https://www.visityork.org/york-ice-trail 

END 

For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact: 

Brittany Guymer 

Marketing and Communications Executive at Make It York 

Comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors 

York Ice Trail 2024 will return on 3rd and 4th February from 10am and is a Make It York event. 

Research based on a survey of 270 visitors   

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 

PHOTO STORY: First Look at York Ice Trail 2024 Read More »

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