Brittany Guymer

12 Organisations Awarded York Trailblazers Community Grants 

Twelve York-based charities, community groups and VSCE organisations have been awarded community grants by Make It York and York Civic Trust as part of the York Trailblazers project, available thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  

A total of £30,000 was made available for organisations to cover projects, events or initiatives that celebrate York’s history and heritage, uncover lesser-known heritage stories of York, enable community activity, and reduce resident isolation.  

The projects that will be funded by the York Trailblazers Community Grants are: 

  1. Converge – a series of 10 history and art workshops for adults with mental ill health, unlocking the often unknown 121 years of The Grand Opera House through music, performance and creative writing. The workshops will explore and interpret stories from forgotten theatre directors, wrestling matches, bingo halls and roller discos. 
  1.  Eimaan Culture and Community Services CIC – celebrating the heritage and history of Ugandan refugees who settled in York 51 years ago through a series of community events, which aim to reduce loneliness and isolation, as well as building confidence. 
  1. Friends of Rowntree Park, “Unravelling the Evolving Nature of Rowntree Park’ – a series of historical walks/talks, displays, informative trails and website material to promote community engagement, encourage the sharing of memories, stories and experiences from local residents, and inspire sustainable development practices in the future.  
  1. Good Organisation CIC – a series of collaborative workshops, promoting skill development in archive research, creative writing, photography, graphic design and associated editing software, to create a 50-page book exploring York’s ‘alternative’ history through the eyes of 10 individuals affected by homelessness.  
  1. Live Music Now North East, “The street where I lived” – a creative musical project around the street names of York, encouraging older people in residential care settings to explore heritage and share stories of their favourite streets. 
  1. Next Door But One, “Important Like Me” – 10 creative workshops engaging a number of diverse community groups, particularly young adults with disabilities, young girls, unpaid carers and LGTQ+ adults, to explore inspirational people from history and local contemporary culture, and produce a short collaborative YouTube video. 
  1. The Yorkshire Philosophical Society – a series of creative activities for school and community groups, including drawing, drama, video, scrapbooking, research and storytelling, to encourage involvement in archaeology and celebrate the heritage of the Yorkshire Museum and Gardens, unearthing hidden stories of local people. 
  1. Theatre @41 and We Are The Groves – a 10-week programme of creative writing and performance for adults from the local community, finding ways to express moments of significant local history and understand their importance, as well as providing access to the arts 
  1. Thrive Outside CIC – heritage crafting sessions to bring older residents together to share skills, knowledge and memories of traditional outdoor craft and use of seasonal flora 
  1. York Dance Space – celebrating 100 years of Tang Hall social estate by working with community groups of Tang Hall and creating a dance theatre piece to tell the story of the people who live and used to live there 
  1. York Learning and All Saints – a series of workshops to celebrate Dame Emma Raughton, the Anchorite of All Saints, which will see participants researching her incredible life and working alongside local stained glass artist Ann Sotheran to develop their own designs, which will be produced and showcased around the city 
  1. York Travellers Trust – 10 workshops which will provide a safe, welcoming space for young Gypsy and Travellers to share their experiences and explore their culture, resulting in the creation of artwork which will form an exhibition at the York Travellers Trust.    

Helen Apsey, Head of Culture and Wellbeing at Make It York, says “The applications we’ve received for the grants really showcase the breadth and diversity of cultural and community initiatives taking place across the city to support local people’s wellbeing. It’s also brilliant to see how keen local community groups are to learn more about their history and heritage. 

We’re really pleased to be able to fund these community initiatives through the Trailblazers community grants and are looking forward to adding these to the exciting programme for York Trailblazers in 2024.” 

ENDS 

 
For more information: 

Livvy Golby-Kirk, Marketing & Communications Officer at York Civic Trust 

events@fairfaxhouse.co.uk  

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 York Civic Trust  

York Civic Trust is a membership organisation open to all who wish to protect and enhance York’s architectural and cultural heritage, to champion good design and to advance the high place which York holds amongst the cities of the world. Founded in 1946, it has the key objectives of “Promoting Heritage—Shaping Tomorrow” at the heart of its work. Since an extensive conservation-repair programme in the 1980s, the Trust has restored Fairfax House on York’s Castlegate to its former grandeur. It is one of England’s finest Georgian townhouses and now a museum and offices of the Trust. 

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund 

Using money raised by The National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk.  

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund 

Since The National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £43 billion for projects and more than 635,000 grants have been awarded across the UK. More than £30 million raised each week goes to good causes across the UK. 

12 Organisations Awarded York Trailblazers Community Grants  Read More »

Make It York says goodbye to Chair, Greg Dyke 

Greg has been Chair of Make it York for 4 years, during which time his expertise has helped create the city’s Tourism Strategy and Make It York Business Plan amongst other projects, which include the Rugby League World Cup, Ukraine Kyiv City Ballet Tour, York Ice Trail and other city-wide events. 

Greg joined Make It York with a wide wealth of experience, with previously held positions including Director General of the BBC and Chairman of The Football Association. He is currently Chairman of the London Film School.   

Mark Fordyce, currently on the Make It York Board, will be taking over from Greg as interim Chair. 

Greg Dyke, Chair of Make It York, says “It’s been a challenging and enjoyable four years, but I do feel it’s time for me to step down. Obviously, the biggest challenge was the pandemic which greatly damaged Make It York’s finances, however they have now recovered thanks to the outstanding efforts of the staff and fellow board members.  

“I think York is a great city and I believe it has an exciting future. I have had a special relationship with York for more than 50 years, first living here in my twenties to study at The University of York, and then coming back as Chancellor of the University for 11 years. It’s been an absolute honour to chair Make It York and I would love to see the new Chair be someone who knows and loves the people and culture of York, and someone who can successfully drive our tourism strategy forward.”  

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director of Make It York, says “I want to offer my heartfelt thanks to Greg for all the amazing work he has done for the organisation. From leading the city through a national pandemic, to creating a successful tourism strategy for the city, to raising the company to become a key player within the city, we’ve achieved so much together and his love for the city shines through in everything he does.  

Mark Fordyce, Managing Director of York Data Services and Make It York Board member, says, “On behalf of the board, I’d like to thank Greg for his leadership over the past 4 years and the positive impact it has had on the organisation and the City of York. It will be extremely sad to see Greg leave, and we wish him only the best in his future endeavours. York is a city of investment and opportunity, of commerce and tourism, and I’m looking forward to being able to assist in continuing to build the city for the benefit of not only tourism, but for the thousands of people who live, work and play in the city on a daily basis.” 

END 

For more information:  

Brittany Guymer, Communications Executive 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. 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 says goodbye to Chair, Greg Dyke  Read More »

PHOTO STORY: City partners support Visit York at World Travel Market  

A delegation of city partners, business leaders and attractions came together on Monday evening (6th) to mark their support for York’s return to World Travel Market.  Representatives from Make It York, Jorvik Viking Centre, City Cruises, York Minster, LNER, Castle Howard and York MP Rachael Maskall gathered together on the River Thames to celebrate a successful first day, alongside North Yorkshire Council, Visit Leeds and Herriot Country. 

World Travel Market London is the market leading international travel event, unlocking business opportunities for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. Visit York, Visit Leeds, James Herriot Country and North Yorkshire Council are joining forces on the UK Inbound stand from 6th to 8th November at ExCel London. 

The B2B event allows tourism businesses from around the globe to showcase their brand and exhibit at the show along with the biggest names in accommodation and hospitality, renowned tourism destinations and attractions, innovative travel technology providers,nd airlines. World Travel Market helps National Tourist Organisations and international travel providers connect with world-class travel buyers, as well as to showcase their services to the international press.  

Last year’s World Travel Market saw 38,500 attendees connect with 3,500 exhibitors across 184 different countries. 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “We are thrilled to be attending World Travel Market again this year with our partners at Visit Leeds, James Herriot country and North Yorkshire Council. World Travel Market is the ultimate destination for travel and tourism, and a brilliant opportunity for us to reconnect with key tour operators. We will be representing all our Visit York members and showcasing the exceptional offerings we have in York.” 

END 

For more information:  

Brittany Guymer, Communications Executive 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. 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: City partners support Visit York at World Travel Market   Read More »

Digital Arts Commissions Live for York Trailblazers 

Applications are now open for a series of exciting digital arts micro-commissions as part of York Trailblazers, a collaboration between Make It York and York Civic Trust, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  

Five digital commissions, which will enhance a city-wide heritage sculpture trail taking place in summer to autumn 2024, will be awarded to local artists: celebrating the artistic talent of York’s creative industries sector and the city’s status as a UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts.  

The digital commissions are: 

  • Film (three commissions available): Local filmmakers, storytellers, poets, and artists are invited to create a short film creatively reflecting and celebrating the legacy of a York trailblazer. These films will highlight the impact remarkable individuals have had on the city and its communities. The finished short films, no longer than six minutes, will be displayed at an accessible location in York city centre and may tour to other locations throughout the trail period. 
  • Audio (one commission available): This commission is designed for storytellers, poets, or creative writing practitioners who will collaborate with secondary school-aged students. They will create a suite of recorded stories, soundscapes, or poems to accompany select trail markers. These creative outputs will aim to capture young people’s responses to the stories of trailblazers, enhancing the visitor experience. 
  • Web Game (one commission available): A small web game will be commissioned to engage trail visitors. This game will be for family audiences and accessible primarily through mobile and tablet devices. 

Each commission will be awarded £2,000 to cover all costs related to production, development, and delivery. 

Artists are invited to apply to take part through the Make It York website. Applications are open until noon on 30 November 2023. 

Celebrating York’s Trailblazers 

The York Trailblazers project is a city-wide initiative celebrating some of York’s lesser-known trailblazers. The project explores individuals from York’s past and present who’ve made significant contributions to their communities, industries, and the city. The project is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and is set to feature a temporary sculpture trail for residents and visitors in Summer 2024. Additionally, it includes workshops and trips for schools and young people, as well as community-led activities to make heritage accessible to more people in York. 

The digital commissions aim to complement and augment the trail experience, highlighting York’s rich cultural heritage and the city’s thriving contemporary creative sector. 

For more information about the wider York Trailblazers project and the sculpture trail, please visit the project page here

Application Details 

Artists and creative professionals are encouraged to submit their proposals for the micro-commissions. The timeline for creating and delivering these commissions range from January to April 2024. 

Find out more and apply here

For inquiries or to discuss potential trailblazers or community collaborations, please contact culture@makeityork.com for an informal conversation. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of the York Trailblazers heritage sculpture trail and help celebrate the city’s rich heritage and creative talent. 

ENDS 

 
For more information: 

Livvy Golby-Kirk, Marketing & Communications Officer at York Civic Trust 

events@fairfaxhouse.co.uk  

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 York Civic Trust  

York Civic Trust is a membership organisation open to all who wish to protect and enhance York’s architectural and cultural heritage, to champion good design and to advance the high place which York holds amongst the cities of the world. Founded in 1946, it has the key objectives of “Promoting Heritage—Shaping Tomorrow” at the heart of its work. Since an extensive conservation-repair programme in the 1980s, the Trust has restored Fairfax House on York’s Castlegate to its former grandeur. It is one of England’s finest Georgian townhouses and now a museum and offices of the Trust. 

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund 

Using money raised by The National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk.  

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund 

Since The National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £43 billion for projects and more than 635,000 grants have been awarded across the UK. More than £30 million raised each week goes to good causes across the UK. 

Digital Arts Commissions Live for York Trailblazers  Read More »

Finalists Announced for Visit York Tourism Awards 2024

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 in a glitzy ceremony on Thursday 14th March 2024 at York Racecourse.  

Eligible winners across a number of categories will be automatically put forward to the national Visit England Awards for Excellence 2024 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 Visit England Awards for Excellence 2022, and The Dovecote Barns a silver runner-up in the Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year in the Visit England Awards for Excellence 2023. 

New categories for 2024 include The Best of York Award, and Independent Business of the Year. 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director of Make It York, said: “We’ve had some really strong applications this year, across the board. A huge congratulations to our finalists who have been announced today, and who have demonstrated excellence in their sectors. The Visit York Tourism Awards celebrate the countless organisations who work tirelessly year-round to deliver the best experiences for visitors and residents, we look forward to celebrating their successes and achievements at the ceremony in March.” 

David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said: “We are 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. From historic sites to wonderful places to eat and stay, the city has so much to offer and is one of the most popular destinations on the LNER route.  Congratulations to all those who have been selected as a finalist.”  

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 

Visit York Tourism Awards Finalists 2024:  

B&B and Guest House of the Year 

  • MonkBridge House 
  • The Bar Convent Guest House 
  • The Fat Badger, York  

Business Event Venue of the Year (sponsored by Business Enterprise Fund) 

  • The Guildhall, York  
  • City Cruises 

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year 

  • Flaxton Meadows 
  • Wigwam Holidays Ball Hall Farm 
  • High Oaks Grange 

Experience of the Year (sponsored by LNER) 

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

Large Hotel of the Year (sponsored by Streamline Taxis) 

  • Middletons Hotel 
  • Moxy York  
  • The Grand 

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year (sponsored by Ward Hadaway) 

  • The York Dungeon 
  • National Railway Museum 
  • The Web Adventure Park  
  • Yorkshire Air Museum  

New Tourism Business Award (sponsored by PPS Essentials) 

  • Hart Lake Escapes 
  • The Wizard Walk of York 
  • Hocus Pocus Tiny Hotel 

Pub of the Year (sponsored by Hunter Gee Holroyd) 

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

Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year 

  • 101 House At The End 
  • Roomzzz Aparthotel York  

Small Hotel of the Year (sponsored by booking.com) 

  • The Pheasant Hotel 
  • Clementines Town House 
  • Hocus Pocus Tiny Hotel 

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year 

  • 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) 

  • Legacy at The Grand 
  • Fish & Forest 
  • Ate O’Clock 

The Best of York Award* (sponsored by York St John University) 

  • The Wizard Walk of York 
  • Millers Fish & Chips 
  • The Bloody Tour of York 

Independent Business of the Year* (sponsored by Clarion Housing Group) 

  • Avorium 
  • The Deathly Dark Tours 
  • The Wizard Walk of York  
  • Breezy Knees Gardens 

Event, Festival or Cultural Experience of the Year* (sponsored by North York Moors) 

  • Christmas at Castle Howard 
  • Hallow Scream at York Maze 
  • York Pride 
  • York Mansion House 

Retailer of the Year* (sponsored by York BID) 

  • York Gin 
  • Love Cheese 
  • The Potions Cauldron 

* These categories are local awards and not eligible for the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 

ENDS 

For more information: 

Brittany Guymer 

Communications 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.  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. 

Finalists Announced for Visit York Tourism Awards 2024 Read More »

Tourism worth £1.7 Billion to York in 2022, according to new tourism report

Make It York are pleased to announce that data from the recent STEAM report, which measures the annual volume and value of tourism activity in the UK, has recorded that the tourism industry has had a total economic impact* of £1.7 billion within York in 2022, with visitors spending £1.2 billion in the city.

As a result of being a world-class tourism destination, 17,000 full time jobs in York have been supported across accommodation, visitor attractions, food and drink, and retail sectors throughout 2022.

With so much to see and do across the city, 1 in 5 visitors to York stayed overnight in 2022, generating more than half of the total economic impact, with £249 million of direct spend from visitors going towards accommodation.

The data also shows how the city welcomed 8.9 million visitors in 2022, with 1.2 million of these coming from overseas as we witness the return of international travel. This increase, whilst not yet at pre-covid levels, showcases a visitor economy growth of 54% when compared to 2021.

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director of Make It York, says: “We’re extremely proud to see that the figures highlight the hard work coming from local businesses and organisations – tourism has a significant impact on York and our economy, not only be creating thousands of jobs for local people but also by fostering understanding and relationships amongst communities and propelling us towards a brighter, more connected future. York is such a dynamic city, drawing people in from all walks of life, from all over the world, with its unparalleled charm. As visitor numbers continue to rise, so will the city’s reputation as a must-visit location for anyone seeking an unforgettable city break.”

Councillor Pete Kilbane, Deputy Leader of the Council and Executive Member for Economy and Transport says: “York’s visitor economy has long been one of our city’s strengths and it’s great to see that reflected in these figures. We’re very proud to be a city that welcomes visitors from across the globe, who return time and again to enjoy York’s iconic attractions. We continue to work hard to ensure that our city remains a wonderful place for residents and visitors alike.”

It’s not difficult to see why York is such a leading tourism destination, having recently been named as the one of the Top 10 Most Welcoming Cities on Earth by Booking.com.** This STEAM report shows data throughout the whole of 2022, a year that saw the city host several world class events such as the Rugby League World Cup and Kyiv Ballet.

Notes to editors:
Figures supplied from the 2022 STEAM Report prepare by GTS (UK). 2021 spend indexed to 2022
*Economic impact includes indirect spend i.e. spend by local tourism businesses with the local supply chain
**Top 10 Most Welcoming Places on Earth 2023 – The most welcoming places on Earth | Booking.com. – revealed as part of the Traveller Review Awards for 2023, which was based on a pool of over 240 million verified customer reviews on Booking.com.

For more information, please contact:
Brittany Guymer, Communications Executive 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. 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

Tourism worth £1.7 Billion to York in 2022, according to new tourism report Read More »

York chosen as one of the host cities and venues for the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 

From one exhilarating Women’s World Cup to another, there are exactly two years to go until women’s rugby returns to York, as the city is chosen as a co-host and venue for the Rugby World Cup 2025.  

World Rugby and the RFU, with support from the UK Government, have confirmed that York and York Community Stadium will be one of the eight host cities and venues that will provide the stage for the biggest-ever celebration of women’s rugby. 

Kicking off on 22 August and concluding with the Rugby World Cup final, on 27 September, the 10th edition of the showcase event has accessibility as its core and will be the most accessible games to date. The countrywide format means an unparalleled opportunity to see, engage with, and support the stars of the women’s game. 

Following a competitive selection process, the final roster of host cities and venues reflects the tournament’s core mission of growing the sport, taking rugby across the country and engaging with diverse communities. All will provide a family-focused festival of rugby.  

For the first time ever, the elite women’s rugby tournament will be hosted across eight venues and cities around the country with 16 teams competing to be crowned world champions. 

The biggest-ever celebration of women’s rugby – the host cities and venues  

  • Brighton and Hove – Brighton and Hove Albion Stadium 
  • Bristol – Ashton Gate 
  • Exeter – Sandy Park 
  • London – Twickenham Stadium 
  • Manchester – Salford Community Stadium 
  • Northampton – Franklin’s Gardens  
  • Sunderland – Stadium of Light  
  • York – York Community Stadium 
      

While the full match schedule and ticketing details will be announced next year, the milestone two-year celebration and confirmation of dates and venues provides the ability for fans across England to start to plan their Rugby World Cup 2025 experience.  

Canada, England, France and New Zealand have already qualified for Rugby World Cup 2025 after finishing in the top four of RWC 2021, with the remaining positions to be filled via World Rugby’s new women’s international 15s tournament, WXV, and regional competitions in 2024. 

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “Following the record-breaking success of Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand, women’s rugby has built an incredibly strong foundation and as one of the fastest growing sports in the world, RWC 2025 is set to take the game to the next level as the biggest celebration of women’s rugby with fans and players very much at its heart.  

“We look forward to continuing to collaborate with all our partners as we strive to deliver a world-class and historic event that will leave a lasting legacy, both in England and around the world as we aim to inspire millions of new players and fans and continue to grow the game we love.” 

Councillor Claire Douglas, Leader of City of York Council said: “I want to thank all the partners involved in our successful bid to host the Women’s Rugby Union World Cup. It is fantastic that once again York will play host to a world cup, with world-class female athletes living and playing in the city for a number of weeks. 

We see time and time again the impact sport can have on people’s lives. This is demonstrated by the legacy of the Rugby League World Cup held in the city last year, and also the recent successes of the Lionesses in inspiring a new generation. Sport brings people together and can be great for our physical and mental wellbeing. We hope this tournament is a catalyst for increased participation at any of our fantastic community clubs.” 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director of Make It York, said: “We are absolutely delighted that York has been chosen as one of the host cities for the Rugby World Cup in 2025, and that we’ll be welcoming such fantastic international teams to our city for the tournament. This will be such a key event in the city’s calendar and really showcase York on the international stage with a sport that is forever growing in popularity. We look forward to working with the Rugby World Cup and local organisations across York to make this a fantastic celebration of women’s sports, that both residents and visitors can enjoy.”  

Glen Coultish, York RUFC Junior Chairman, said: “York Rugby Union are delighted to be playing a part in the Women’s Rugby Union World Cup. The timing is perfect as this season we have dedicated to growing the girls section to 80 plus girl players. The opportunity to see world cup squads play and train is fantastic for the whole club.” 

Cat Tottie, Manager at York RI Women, said: “Women’s rugby has grown fast in recent years – when the Roses packed out Twickenham last year we proved the sport wasn’t just for the boys. As someone who didn’t start playing until I was an adult, I hope the Rugby World Cup coming to England will inspire a new generation of girls to look at our amazing sport and think – I want to get on pitch and be just as strong and fast as them. 

From grassroots teams to Premiership, the community that comes with women’s rugby is infectious, and there is no better time to start playing than now.  And anything you can do to plug girls and women to start playing at York RI would be fab – we are recruiting now!” 

Notes to Editors: 

The women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 is supported by its official partners Mastercard, Capgemini and Gallagher. 

The Rugby World Cup Impact Programme, delivered by the RFU in partnership with the UK Government and Sport England, will create opportunities for females across all levels of the game through its volunteer, coaching and internship programmes. 

 WXV | Official Site (wxvrugby.com) 

For more information, please contact: 

Brittany Guymer, Communications Executive 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. 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 chosen as one of the host cities and venues for the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025  Read More »

Visit the ‘City of Dreams’ at York Ice Trail 2024: Dates and Theme Announced 

York Ice Trail organisers, Make It York, are pleased to announce that plans are underway for the family-favourite event to return to the city on the weekend of the 3rd and 4th February 2024.  

The theme for York Ice Trail 2024 will transform York into the ‘City of Dreams’ and invite people to dream big and let their creativity run wild.  

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, plus almost 50% were likely to go shopping.  

York Ice Trail 2024 will once again see the ‘coolest’ sculptures line the street of York, all sponsored and concepted by local businesses. UK and Europe’s leading ice specialist, Icebox, will design and create all sculptures for the 2024 trail. 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “York Ice Trail is one of the most-loved events in the city for residents and visitors alike, and we’re excited to be bringing it back for another year in 2024. It’s a huge celebration of our city and local businesses, and the concept for next year’s trail will inspire everyone’s inner child, encouraging people to let their imagination run wild.” 

Greg Pittard, Managing Director at Icebox, and Abby Shelton, Marketing Executive at Icebox, said: “Returning to York for the 2024 Ice Trail is a true honor for us. The York Ice Trail holds a special place in our hearts, and we are thrilled to bring this year’s theme to life. Our talented team of ice carvers is eagerly prepared to embark on this extraordinary artistic expedition, pouring their passion into crafting magnificent ice sculptures that will transport visitors to a world of wonder and delight. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to Make It York and the remarkable businesses across the city for their unwavering support and trust, which allows us to continue making this event an unforgettable experience year after year!” 

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

*Research based on a survey of 270 visitors 

ENDS 

For more information, please contact: 

Brittany Guymer, Communications Executive at Make It York  

Comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors 

York Ice Trail 2024 will return on 3rd and 4th February 2024. York Ice Trail 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. 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 the ‘City of Dreams’ at York Ice Trail 2024: Dates and Theme Announced  Read More »

York Trailblazers Community Grants 2023 

York-based charities, community groups and VSCE organisations can apply for the 2023 York Trailblazers community grants, with an overall fund of £30,000 available. 

In a collaboration between York Civic Trust and Make It York, with funding made available through the National Heritage Lottery Fund, organisations are being invited to apply to grants up to £3,000. These projects will contribute to the overall aims of the York Trailblazers project, which celebrates York’s heritage, and uncovers lesser-known heritage stories of York – through community workshops, a large-scale sculpture trail, community grant funding, partner events and marketing. 

Organisations can apply for community grant funding for projects, events or initiatives that celebrate York’s history and heritage, uncover lesser-known heritage stories of York, enable community activity, to reduce resident isolation and support wellbeing, and which work with people affected by isolation/loneliness, people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, minority and protected groups. 

The grants programme aligns with the York Culture Strategy, which commits to ensuring that culture is accessible to everyone, and which supports people’s health and wellbeing through meaningful engagement with arts and heritage.  

Applications will open on Monday 17 July and close at 12pm on Friday 11 August. The grants are available for projects running anytime between September 2023 and 27 September 2024. 

Helen Apsey, Head of Culture and Wellbeing at Make It York said: “We’re delighted to be able to fund community initiatives that celebrate York’s history and heritage, while also supporting people’s wellbeing, through the Trailblazers Community Grants. We’re looking forward to receiving people’s applications and seeing how the projects we fund will together help to create a really exciting programme for York Trailblazers throughout 2023 and 2024.”  

Apply for a grant: 

The grants programme will open on Monday 17 July, and be open for a four-week period, closing at 12pm on Friday 11 August 2023. Applications must be submitted by this time to be considered. 

The grant information, criteria for applications and the application form (an online form) will all be available on the Make It York website from 17 July here – https://www.makeityork.com/events/york-trailblazers/grants/. If you are unable to access the online form, and would prefer a printed copy instead, please email culture@makeityork.com and we will ensure you can pick up a printed copy instead.   

Applications will be assessed and award decisions made by Friday 25 August 2023.   

If you have any queries, please email culture@makeityork.com  

Grant workshops:  

We will hold two workshops on zoom that any prospective grantees are free to attend, to explain the grants process, key things that prospective grantees must demonstrate in their applications, and to answer any questions that applicants might have. Workshops will take place on the 20th July and 3rd August. You can register for the workshops here – York Trailblazers (makeityork.com) 

ENDS 

 
For more information: 

Livvy Golby-Kirk, Marketing & Communications Officer at York Civic Trust 

events@fairfaxhouse.co.uk  

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 York Civic Trust  

York Civic Trust is a membership organisation open to all who wish to protect and enhance York’s architectural and cultural heritage, to champion good design and to advance the high place which York holds amongst the cities of the world. Founded in 1946, it has the key objectives of “Promoting Heritage—Shaping Tomorrow” at the heart of its work. Since an extensive conservation-repair programme in the 1980s, the Trust has restored Fairfax House on York’s Castlegate to its former grandeur. It is one of England’s finest Georgian townhouses and now a museum and offices of the Trust. 

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund 

Using money raised by The National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk.  

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund 

Since The National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £43 billion for projects and more than 635,000 grants have been awarded across the UK. More than £30 million raised each week goes to good causes across the UK. 

York Trailblazers Community Grants 2023  Read More »

Applications are now open for Visit York Tourism Awards 2024

Entries are now open for the prestigious Visit York Tourism Awards 2024, sponsored by LNER, which recognises and celebrates outstanding businesses and individuals that deliver world class experiences within the city of York.  

The previous Visit York Tourism Awards took place earlier this year in March, where 16 of York’s top tourism businesses celebrated a win at the ceremony at York Racecourse. Winners of eligible categories were put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, which saw The Dovecote Barns winning silver in the Self-Catering Accommodation award category.  

Returning on the 14th March 2024 at York Racecourse for a black-tie ceremony and an evening of entertainment, there will be 17 Visit York Tourism Awards up for grabs including:  

  • B&B and Guest House of the Year 
  • Business Event Venue of the Year 
  • Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year 
  • Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award 
  • Experience of the Year 
  • Large Hotel of the Year 
  • Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 
  • New Tourism Business Award 
  • Pub of the Year 
  • Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year 
  • Small Hotel of the Year 
  • Small Visitor Attraction of the Year 
  • Taste of England Award 
  • The Best of York Award* 
  • Independent Business of the Year* 
  • Event, Festival or Cultural Experience of the Year* 
  • Retailer of the Year* 

There are three new categories for the 2024 awards – ‘The Best of York Award’, ‘Independent Business of the Year’, and ‘Business Event Venue of the Year’.  

Businesses large and small, from hotels to restaurants, attractions to retailers; businesses and cultural organisations across the city are being urged to enter, with the deadline of 25th August 2023, 5pm to submit entries. The awards are free to enter for Visit York members and £150 for non-members.  

Once all the entries are in, a panel of independent judges will decide on the final shortlist, and then winners. The decisions will be made based on a mix of mystery shopping and rigorous analysis against the entry criteria. Businesses can check the eligibility criteria and enter the Visit York Tourism Awards online at https://www.visityork.org/tourismawards

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “The Visit York Tourism Awards celebrate the very best in tourism, hospitality and culture in our city and surrounding areas. There are so many amazing local businesses and organisations that make York a world-renowned city, and these awards are a great way to be able to celebrate all the hard work that goes into providing exceptional visitor experiences. For many years, winning these awards has had huge benefits for the businesses both regionally and nationally, with many awards being automatically put forward for the VisitEngland Award for Excellence.  

With 17 opportunities to take home an award in 2024, as well as the introduction of three new categories to this year, businesses have until 25th August to get their entries in.” 

* These categories are local awards and not eligible for the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 

ENDS 

For more information: 

Brittany Guymer 

Communications Executive at Make It York 

Comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors: 

Applications for the Visit York Tourism Awards 2023 are open until the 25th August 2023. Finalists will be announced in the Autumn, ahead of the awards ceremony at York Racecourse on the 14th March 2023.  

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. 

Applications are now open for Visit York Tourism Awards 2024 Read More »

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