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York’s new Tourism Strategy to lead the way for an even better quality of life in the city of York


A new 8-year tourism strategy for York has been officially adopted by the City of York Council on behalf of the city 

The Covid-19 pandemic prompted a re-evaluation of global tourism, with York’s stakeholders exploring new approaches to create value beyond visitor volume. In response, the York Tourism Advisory Board was relaunched in late 2020, bringing together over 60 stakeholders from across York and the wider region, and works in collaboration with Make It York, the City of York Council and York BID.  

The Tourism Advisory Board has been working on the development of a new Tourism Strategy for the city. The tourism strategy sets out a bold new vision for tourism in York. From promoting regenerative practices, to enhancing the wellbeing of York’s communities through tourism, the York Tourism Strategy is a comprehensive framework that aligns with the city’s values and aspirations. By engaging with the people who call York home, local businesses, and cultural institutions, the aim is to ensure that tourism becomes a force for positive change, contributing to the city’s prosperity and wellbeing. 

This is a new era where tourism is not an isolated goal, but an integrated means to sustain an even better quality of life in the city. It commits to preserving York’s historical legacy while embracing future opportunities. The strategy serves as a visionary roadmap to elevate the tourism experience for both residents and visitors, fostering community and pride, that is founded on principles of sustainability, inclusivity, and authenticity. 

York’s Tourism Strategy is focused on five Key Priorities with specific ambitions for the city. These include: 

  1. A Regenerative Visitor Economy: York is a responsible, robust and profitable destination with a regenerative visitor economy.  
  2. Green York: Our businesses and visitors’ commitment proactively contributes to York’s transition to net zero carbon emissions by 2030.  
  3. Culture: York is renowned for its heritage, culture and cutting-edge approach to creativity, which attracts cultural tourists and supports the city’s regenerative visitor economy.  
  4. Residents and Localhood: Local people experience the very best of their city and wider region alongside its visitors, with tourism contributing to the quality of life in York and beyond.  
  5. Skills and recruitment: The visitor economy is a first-choice career for school leavers and graduates, businesses invest in upskilling, apprenticeships, training and career development, and commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.   

Dr Brendan Paddison, Chair of York Tourism Advisory Board and Associate Professor at York St John University, said:

“York’s new tourism strategy will transform York’s approach to tourism, ensuring the city becomes a world-leader in regenerative tourism, that it grows and diversifies its offer responsibly, and that the city maximises tourism’s contribution to the economy, employment and the quality of life in York and beyond. The strategy was co-produced by the city, with extensive consultation with a breadth of stakeholders from across York and the wider region.”

York welcomes 8.9 million visitors annually, contributing £1.7 billion to the local economy and supporting 17,000 jobs. The new strategy emphasizes sustainability and community engagement, setting out a vision where heritage, culture, and public space are important and, the car is less important.  

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director of Make It York, said:

“We are thrilled to share our vision for the city and to continue our commitment in promoting York and its surroundings as a wonderful place to live, work and visit. This strategy is essential, as it drives our work in York’s economic growth while enriching the cultural and social fabric of our community for both residents and visitors.”

This is a tourism strategy for the city of York and its success hinges on the spirit of collaboration and insights from businesses, local leaders, residents, and cultural groups, ensuring a comprehensive and inclusive approach. 

The York Tourism Advisory Board continues to meet monthly. If you would like to know more about the Advisory Board, please contact Dr Brendan Paddison ( 


Press Release date: 20 June 2024 

Notes to Editors:

Image Credit: Make It York. More images: register for the Visit York Media Library.

York Tourism Strategy document below:


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’s new Tourism Strategy to lead the way for an even better quality of life in the city of York Read More »


Top wins for York businesses – Visit York Tourism Award winners shine at VisitEngland Awards for Excellence

Left to right: The Wizard Walk of York, The Deathly Dark Tours, MonkBridge House, The Grand York

Four Visit York Tourism Award winners celebrated at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence last night, the tourism industry’s annual national awards, following their success earlier this year at the Visit York Tourism Awards 2024 where they qualified as national finalists. 

At last night’s ceremony at the Rum Warehouse, Titanic Hotel Liverpool, the four York-based winning businesses were acknowledged as follows by the Awards for Excellence: 

  • The Grand York won the Gold Award for Large Hotel of the Year
  • The Wizard Walk of York won the Gold Award for New Tourism Business of the Year
  • The Deathly Dark Tours won the Silver Award for Experience of the Year
  • MonkBridge House won the Silver Award for B&B and Guest House of the Year

The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence champion the very best of the country’s tourism industry celebrating quality, innovation, best practice and exceptional customer service, and these four winners showcase exactly that. 

    Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “Congratulations to all four winners! Their top wins highlight their excellent attention to detail and dedication to an exceptional visitor experience. This shows the incredible wealth of attractions and accommodation York has to offer.” 

    At the Visit York Tourism Awards, The Grand York, who won Large Hotel of the Year, had judges commenting on the ‘exceptionally high standards’ of luxury across the hotel and their ability to create ‘memorable and enjoyable moments for guests’. 

    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. 

    The Wizard Walk of York won the New Tourism Business 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.’ as judges ‘loved the approach’ and the ‘entertaining features that also inform and educate’. 

    View all the winners and finalists for the Visit York Tourism Awards 2024 and the VisitEngland Award For Excellence Dates.


    PRESS RELEASE: Correction for 6 June press release. Corrected version: 7 June 2024

    Notes to Editors

    Download images 


    About Visit York
    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 and business visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. Activity covers all aspects of tourism marketing and PR, including market intelligence, as well as providing business support through the membership programme. 

    Top wins for York businesses – Visit York Tourism Award winners shine at VisitEngland Awards for Excellence Read More »

    Snooks Auction raises over £27K for local charities through successful event

    Make It York proudly announces the success of the Snooks auction event, which has raised an impressive £27,050 through generous bids to support St Leonard’s Hospice and the York Creates Fund. 

    Held on Thursday 9 May 2024 at York Barbican, the evening unfolded with an atmosphere of excitement and philanthropy as attendees gathered to bid on the 22 four-and-a-half-foot Snooks sculptures which formed part of the Snooks Trail in York during March and April 2024. 

    The evening was made even more memorable by the captivating auctioneer Derek Matthewson, known from the popular TV series “Bangers and Cash,” alongside the charming host Mad Alice, from the award-winning “The Bloody Tour of York”. 

    On the night, some of the highest bids on the Snooks included All Creatures Great and Small, designed by Amy Husband, which was sold for an impressive £3,000; Secret Garden (‘Mistlethwaite’), designed by Amy Bourbon, which went for £1,950; and Webbo, designed by Gemma Wood, which went for £1,500. 

    Amongst the VIP guest list was 9-year-old Annie O’Shaughnessy, from Holgate, who was saving up her pocket money to bid on EY UP…It’s a Snook. After a close bidding competition, and a little help from a friend, she succeeded in securing her favourite sculpture to great applause from the guests. 

    Sarah Loftus, Manager Director of Make It York, said: “I am thrilled by the overwhelming support shown by our community. The success of this event radiated positivity and showed the collective power in highlighting the work of such worthy causes.  

    Together, we have made a significant impact on St Leonard’s Hospice’s work that helps families going through difficult end-of-life care, and York Creates Fund that brings cultural and creative activity in the city. I am immensely grateful for the generosity shown by everyone who attended on the day and online in raising the funds.  

    Beyond the auction, the event served as a reminder of the power of community and the significance of coming together to support causes that resonate with our shared values.” 

    James Wainwright, Head of Fundraising at St Leonard’s Hospice, said: “Here at St Leonard’s, we are constantly amazed by the power and passion of our community.  

    The Snooks Trail was definitely a new way for us to engage with people! We’ve loved being involved and are grateful that local people of all ages, as well as others from across the country and indeed the globe, supported the trail and generously contributed to the auction on 9 May.  

    St Leonard’s Hospice relies on the generosity of the public to carry out our vital work, caring for people with life-limiting illnesses.” 

    St Leonard’s Hospice is a leading provider of palliative and end-of-life care across York and North Yorkshire. It cares for people with a range of life limiting illnesses including cancer, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease and Parkinson’s disease. It also provides bereavement support for anyone in the community dealing with grief. St Leonard’s vision is that everyone living with a life-limiting illness has access to the best possible care and will be supported to die well.  

    Services at St Leonard’s Hospice include a specialist in-patient unit providing round the clock care, Hospice@Home, a Carer Support Service, a Single Point of Coordination telephone service and wellbeing drop-in sessions.  

    Last year the Hospice cared for more than 1,000 local people. While the care is always provided free of charge, it is not free to provide. As it only receives 27% of its funding from the Government, St Leonard’s must raise £6 million a year to run all its services. Its unrivalled care is only possible thanks to the generosity of the public. 



    Notes to Editors: 

    Download picturesCredit: as per in photo title.  


    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. 

    About York Creates Fund  

    York Creates Fund is a micro-fund that supports cultural and creative activity in the city. The York Creates Fund will provide opportunities for local creatives to produce new work through micro-grants, commissions and competitions. The fund will be held by Make It York and administered in reference to the objectives of York’s Creative Future, the city’s Culture Strategy. 

    About the Snooks Trail 

    There were 21 sculptures that made up the popular Snooks Trail, York’s first character trail across the city, running between 2 March and 25 April 2024. The Snooks were the brainchild of artist Sian Ellis, and each one of the unique four and a half foot characters, has been decorated by different talented artists to create its own identity and style. 


    Snooks Auction raises over £27K for local charities through successful event Read More »

    York Artist Incubation Call Out

    Twelve creative organisations in York have come together to develop an artist incubation programme for emerging artists that are based in the local region and create live performance work. This project will support 6 emerging artists or companies to develop both their artistic practise and their business knowledge. This will be done by creating a bespoke package of support, that will continue for a year.

    SLAP (Supporting Live Art & Performance) are currently inviting individual artists and companies living in the YO postcode area to apply to be a part of the programme. Each successful artist or company will receive a year of tailored package of support which includes: 

    • A year of producing support from SLAP
    • 6 training sessions covering a wide range of areas that are essential to being a working artist
    • £1000 bursary
    • Production budget
    • Tailored photoshoot to create high quality marketing images
    • Creative commission
    • Two weeks residency space – at one of our partner venues
    • Opportunities to deliver workshops
    • Use of a City Centre office space
    • Performance Date  – at one of our partner venues
    • Documentation of your live performance

    To learn more and apply visit – 

    Deadline – Monday 3rd January, 5pm 

    This project has been made possible with the support of the following organisations: Arts Council England, Accessible Arts & Media, Explore Libraries and Archives Mutual Limited, Guild of Media Arts, Kaizen Arts CIC, Make It York, Mediale, York Museums Trust, York Music Venue Network, York St John University, York Theatre Royal and Yorkshire Dance.

    York Artist Incubation Call Out Read More »

    York Disability Week – Promoting an Equal, Inclusive and Accessible York

    27 Nov to 4 Dec

    Now in its fifth year, the twenty two events in York Disability Week offer something for people of all ages, disabled or not. Mainly led by disabled people and free to attend, some are online (or both online and in-person) and some are in-person only.

    York Disability Week 2021 has the support of York Paralympian, Beth Moulam. Beth represented GB at Boccia at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. Beth settled in York after moving to study in the city in 2013.

    “The welcome, acceptance and on-going support that I received here in the city, as both a student and athlete, means I am now proud to call York my home. As a result, I am delighted

    to support York Disability Week in promoting an equal, inclusive and accessible York for all.

    I hope you will join me in celebrating York Disability Week.”

    Beth Moulam, GB Paralympian and York Resident

    The programme is packed with a broad range of activities, with events on disability rights and activism, music, culture and arts, disability in the workplace, higher education, city centre and community spaces, volunteering opportunities, and a chance to get together and socialise.

    The week includes the fifteenth anniversary of United Nations International Day of Disabled People (3 December). It promotes disability rights and well-being in all spheres of society and development, including political, social, economic and cultural life (;

    · If you want to find out more, or get a copy of the printed programme, contact details are: email:; website:; tel: 01904 702060; facebook at @YorkDisabilityWeek.

    · Printed copies of the programme are also available from the Visitor Information Centre (1 Museum Street)

    · Making events accessible – if anyone needs additional support to take part, please contact the festival team using the methods above.

    A picture of Beth Moulam, York Paralympian, in Tokyo ahead of this year’s Paralympic Games. She’s in her outfit for the opening ceremony

    York Disability Week – Promoting an Equal, Inclusive and Accessible York Read More »

    Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival Celebrates Rugby League World Cup 2021 ‘Power of Together’ Theme

    This year, the Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival are supporting the Rugby League World Cup to celebrate a shared message – “The Power of Together’. 

    The 2021 Yorkshire Schools Dance (YSDF21) will be staged at the University of York across the weekends of the 13th/14th and 20th/21st November. 1200 children and young people from 56 schools, colleges and groups across the Yorkshire region will be performing.

    Taking place around 12 months before the Rugby League World Cup (RLWC2021) begins, YSDF21 will celebrate the tournament’s ‘Power of Together’ theme. In a breakthrough moment for Rugby League, the men’s, women’s and wheelchair games will be coming together for the first time on the sport’s biggest stage – bigger, better and bolder than ever before.

    The theme has been adopted for YSDF21 with all participating schools, colleges and groups creating unique performances in response to ‘The Power of Together’. We’ll see interpretations that celebrate human and emotional connections. We’ll also be celebrating the creativity of the teachers, dance leaders and young dancers as well as the power of dance to communicate important messages that connect us together as communities.

    The Festival, sponsored by Yorkshire Education Recruitment, supports and promotes dance within schools. Colin Jackson, Producer of the Event says, “The theme has never been more relevant. After a difficult year for all of us, this is a unique opportunity to put the voice of children and young people centre stage. We know that their message will be clear – that by working together towards shared aims we can achieve almost anything.”

    Cllr Darryl Smalley, executive member for culture at City of York Council, said: “The Schools Dance Festival is a very fitting way to mark the one-year-to-go milestone of the Rugby League World Cup, something to which York and the whole country is eagerly anticipating. The shared theme of our ‘Power of Together’ is a relevant and increasingly important message which we can all relate to. As a city, York has put this message into practice throughout the last 19 months, as communities have come together in a time of need.

    “I’m really looking forward to the excellent displays of talent and enthusiasm of all those participating. After a difficult year, it’s events such as these that bring burst of much-needed joy to us all.”

    Laura Pagan, a teacher at Scarcroft Primary School in York said:  “Our School are exploring how it feels to be excluded by friends or society and thinking about how coming together in support of others is a powerful tool to avoid people feeling isolated. We have a very large group of enthusiastic dancers who are looking forward to taking part in the dance festival again.”

     Tickets for the 2021 Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival are available via the website. Anyone purchasing tickets for YSDF21 will be entered into a prize draw to win 4 tickets for the Rugby League World Cup matches scheduled for York’s Community Stadium.

    Tickets for next year’s RLWC2021 Tournament will be available to buy in winter 2021 once the full 2022 schedule has been released. Visit for more information and for details on how to sign up to receive ticket alerts and all the latest news first.

    Visit to purchase tickets.

    Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival Celebrates Rugby League World Cup 2021 ‘Power of Together’ Theme Read More »

    Plans announced for York Christmas Festival 2021

    St Nicholas Fair set to return to York’s city centre from 18th November to 23rd December 

    The popular St Nicholas Fair will be returning to York city centre this year between 18th November and 23rd December – with an array of local businesses selling everything from handmade gifts to delicious seasonal treats and crafts.  

    Sixty-eight festive alpine chalets will be spread across Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square, offering a range of unique gifts, seasonal food and drinks and local produce.  

    THOR’S tipi will also be back for its sixth year on Parliament Street, from 17th Nov to the 2nd Jan 2022. Serving traditional ‘Winter Warmers,’ such as mulled wine & luxury hot chocolate, with delicious feasts by Yuzu Street Food – all in a twinkly, Christmas style tipi with real log fire. The rustic Yorkshire Barn in St Sampson’s Square will warm up guests with festive food and drink, from hot chestnuts to mulled wine and King’s Square will host the much-loved Vintage Carousel throughout the festive season.   

    Plans are also underway for the city to be decorated once again with stunning festive lights, giving a special festive back drop for residents and visitors to the city centre to enjoy. Delivered by York BID in partnership with Make It York, the winter light scheme this year includes the Tree of Light at the Eye of York, beautiful Christmas trees on St Helen’s Square, Parliament Street and Shambles Market and York’s historic bars illuminated with thousands of twinkling lights.

    The city-wide Christmas offer is also set to be bigger and better than ever. Castle Howard will welcome back theatrical designers Charlotte Lloyd Webber, Bretta Gereke and team who have worked their magic on Castle Howard at Christmas for the past four seasons. Inspired by the much-adored novels by C. S. Lewis the historic house will be turned into the wintery, magical land of Narnia. Visitors will journey through the grand state rooms and experience installations based on scenes from the epic stories.  

    The National Centre for Early Music will be holding their popular York Early Music Christmas Festival (3rd-11th December). This year’s festival includes the return of Joglaresa, whose exuberant music and wassailing sums up Yuletide in music and song; The Gesulado Six, returning to York after playing to packed houses in the York Early Music Festival 2021; and award-winning young artists Prisma, from Germany. 

    Residents and visitors can also look forward to a host of other festive events taking place at the city’s attractions – not to mention a fantastic choice of entertainment at the city’s theatres and venues, with pantomimes and Christmas carol concerts.  

    Following the success of last year’s virtual Christmas market, an online market will also run on throughout the whole festive season. Helping to bring the magic of St Nicholas Fair into homes across the country, the virtual market will offer a safe and snug option for those looking to purchase their festive gifts online this year, whilst also supporting York’s traders, retailers and attractions.   

    Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of the Council and Executive Member for Policy, Strategy and Partnerships, said: “Christmas celebrations are always special in York and many of us undoubtedly missed our usual city-wide festivities last year. With the return of so many well-loved events and additions of many new ones, I am sure residents and visitors will once again be looking forward to enjoying our city throughout the festive season. 

    “York has a fantastic range of independent and small businesses offering exceptional services and products. Christmas is a great time to support our local businesses by purchasing unique gifts and enjoying all they have to offer.  This Christmas we look forward to welcoming residents and visitors to safely enjoy the magic of the festive period in York.” 

    Ashley Young, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager at Make It York, said: “York is a city that really comes alive at Christmas and we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to put plans in place for an event that will really deliver the festive magic that York is renowned for. We are delighted to be working with so many local traders to bring back St Nicholas Fair back better than ever and create a magical festive experience for visitors and residents to enjoy.  

    The programme of Christmas activities going on in and around York this year is outstanding –with so many unique experiences on offer at the city’s attractions and venues across the city, combined with world-class food and drink and an array of independent retailers and traders.” 

    St Nicholas Fair will be open from 18th November to 23rd December – Sunday – Thursday 10:00 to 18:00 and Friday & Saturday 10:00 to 20:00. 

    For regular updates on what’s happening in York over Christmas, or a free guide to Christmas in the City, visit or email  A new guide to Christmas will be available free of charge from the Visit York Information Centre, 1 Museum Street, from the last week in September.  


    For further information please contact:  

    Amy Goodman, Consumer Communications Manager 

    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 four corporate strategic priorities.  These are:  

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

    Plans announced for York Christmas Festival 2021 Read More »

    First Bus York Partner with Make It York on plans to Reinvigorate Shambles Market

    A new partnership between First Bus York and Make It York has been set up to invest in the future of Shambles Market and create a “destination magnet” that attracts more visitors through highlighting a mix of local artisan and traditional vendors plus entertainment. 

    The partnership’s plan to support York’s diverse array of independent market traders will see a vibrant and modern look for the market, new creative marketing promotions and regular pop-up events.  

    Ashley Young, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager at Make It York and John Godfrey, Marketing Director at First Bus York © Gareth Buddo

    As one of the city’s greatest assets, Shambles Market is the home to York’s largest group of independent traders – offering an eclectic mix of fresh produce, crafts, flowers, gift ideas, clothing and much more. This includes long-standing produce traders such as John Mannion Greengrocers (whose family have been trading on the market since 1906), local artists such as Ipso Facto Art, ethical soap company Janurelle, Zazen Boutique jewellery and an array of other independent small businesses.  

    The Shambles Market Food Court is also home to some of the city’s finest street food vendors – including indie businesses such as Taylor Made Kitchen, The Doghouse, Shambles Kitchen, Los Moros, Pizzoli and more.  

    The partnership with First Bus York is sparked by an ambition to enhance Shambles Market’s reputation as a ‘must-see’ destination for residents and visitors to the city and highlight the unique blend of quirky independent businesses and quality produce available on the market.  

    First Bus York also supported the Young Market Trader competition earlier this summer. The event saw 20 year-old Millie Thomas with her cake business ‘Sweet Treats by Mil’ going forward to the regional finals of the National Young Market Trader competition and receiving a free pitch on the market for a year. 

    Now, through the partnership, a vibrant refresh of the market branding is underway with new colourful signage at the entrance and on the stalls. This will emphasise the importance of supporting York businesses and shopping local.  

    Ashley Young, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager at Make It York and John Godfrey, Marketing Director at First Bus York with Love Local sign © Gareth Buddo

    A new short film has also been created to promote the quality local produce available in the market. Under a ‘Field to Fork’ theme the video showcases how the market’s fresh products are used by businesses across the city to deliver a quality customer experience. The video features trader Sheila’s Greengrocers as they collect fresh strawberries each morning which are then used on food court trader KREP’s delicious crepes .  

    A series of pop-up events are in plan to be introduced to the Market. This included a new ‘Vintage Market’ event this week (31st August) which showcased a range of local vintage traders from around the city including Books for Amnesty, Angela Bare, Sue Ryder, Syd Comerford Antiques and Panayis Cult Art Prints. Bringing together a range of retro, collectable and quirky products, the ‘Vintage Market’ event proved popular with residents and visitors alike, offering something for everyone’s taste, style and price point.  

    A special ‘Night Market’ will also take place on the evening of 17th September in partnership with York Creatives. The event will see a range of independent traders, street food, drinks and music coming to the market, with free entry for all.  

    John Godfrey, Head of Marketing at First Bus York, said:

    “We’re here to connect customers to great experiences on the streets of York and Shambles Market will become a destination magnet to draw in local people and visitors to discover a special atmosphere for shopping and relaxing that entices them into the heart of the city.” 

    Ashley Young, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager at Make It York said: 

    “Shambles Market is home to so many incredibly creative and talented businesses – from long established traders who have been on the market for decades to young entrepreneurs who are just starting out. Our ambition is to work alongside our traders and fantastic partners like First Bus York to grow and develop Shambles Market into one of the most celebrated markets in the country and enhance its reputation as a destination in its own right.  

    The market offers a truly unique experience for residents and visitors and we are looking forward to developing plans over the coming months to promote it as a world-class destination and support our family of traders.”  

    Kevin Touhy Chair of York Market Traders Forum and Owner of Bags of Style said

    “The Shambles Market traders welcome the time and support that First Bus have put into promoting the market so excellently. Working together we hope that the market will continue to grow in stature and become an integral part of any York experience for both tourists and locals alike. “ 

    For more information about Shambles Market visit 


    For further information please contact:  

    Ana Ignatova – Communications Executive  

    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 four corporate strategic priorities.  These are:  

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

    First Bus York Partner with Make It York on plans to Reinvigorate Shambles Market Read More »

    Rugby League World Cup to be staged in 2022

    Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) and the UK Government have today announced their intention to stage the flagship event in the international Rugby League calendar in 2022. 

    The extremely difficult decision was taken by the RLWC2021 Board, which includes representation from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and the International Rugby League (IRL) Board.  

    This follows extensive and urgent consultation conducted by RLWC2021 Chief Executive Officer Jon Dutton and his team, which engaged players, competing nations, the Rugby League Players Association (Australia), UK Government, hosts, commercial and broadcast partners. 

    Tournament organisers faced several unique and complex challenges with the most significant being the non-release of up to 400 players, match officials and staff members from the NRL competition in Australia. This is despite all requests from international rugby league federations having been met which included the rigorous health measures that have been keeping thousands of elite athletes from around the world safe whilst competing in major sporting events across the UK over the last year.   

    Ultimately this decision has been detrimental to the plans and ambitions of many of the competing nations and potential replacement teams. A key factor was ensuring that fans of Rugby League are able to enjoy the best possible tournament, which was not possible under these circumstances.  

    Jon Dutton, RLWC2021 Chief Executive Officer, said:  

    “Today is a challenging moment for everyone involved in Rugby League, but most importantly the players and fans of the competing nations.  

    “Ultimately, time and competing priorities from others forced us to make the most difficult decision in our six-year history. However, we and the sport of Rugby League are resilient, and next year we will deliver our vision of the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup ever.  

    “We have always prioritised player voice and player choice. We have established a player working group, met with senior players and in the last few days commissioned a player survey to domestic players in Australia and New Zealand that showed more than 85% wanted to compete at RLWC2021 this year. However, following the disappointing decision of the ARLC and NZRL to withdraw, and the subsequent impact on player availability for other competing nations, it is apparent that delivering the tournament this year would not be feasible.  

    “The wellbeing of all those involved in the tournament, particularly players and team officials, has been our priority. I would like to thank the RLWC2021 Board and my team for the relentless hard work and extraordinary measures that had been undertaken to create a safe and secure environment in line with other major sports events that have been successfully hosted in the UK this year. 

    “I would also like to thank all our committed partners as well as the Rugby League community at large who have been so supportive of our trailblazing event. We appreciate the continued and unequivocal support of the UK Government, as well as the understanding of our competing nations.” 

    Chris Brindley, RLWC2021 Chair, added: 

    “This process has shown that the RLWC Board are responsible leaders who have put the solidarity and unity of the sport first. The Board will now seek the commitment and alignment of all key partners immediately to deliver a clear timetable for the tournament next year.  

    “Now is the time for everyone who loves our game to come together, to show that Rugby League deserves its place on the international stage, and that the RLWC is a tournament we can all be proud of.” 

    Councillor Darryl Smalley, executive member for culture, leisure and communities, said: 

    “Whilst the Rugby League World Cup isn’t happening as soon as we’d hoped, we are glad there are still plans for it going ahead and look forward to welcoming the world’s best rugby league athletes next year. 

    “We are working closely with the Rugby League World Cup to prepare for a covid safe tournament next year. The association with the world cup has already seen over £300,000 invested in sports facilities with York’s communities, and we’re determined to build on that legacy. 

    “With our partners,  we will continue to make sure this event is a huge success and leaves a real mark on the city, inspiring future generations for years to come.” 

    Greg Dyke, Chair of Make It York said: 

     “We understand that it’s been a hugely difficult decision to make and appreciate all the hard work and effort that has been made by the tournament organisers to try to safely stage the event this year. 

    One of the main objectives for bringing the event to York was to ensure a long-lasting legacy in the community through ongoing activities with local schools, clubs and wider investment in the sport. There has been so much great work happening in this area already and this will continue to be a strong focus as we build up to the rescheduled event next year.  

    We are looking forward to working with the tournament team and stakeholders across the city to plan the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup in 2022. “ 

    Jon Flatman, Chairman, York City Knights said : 

     “The Rugby League World Cup team have worked tirelessly to explore all options for the tournament, and whilst it won’t be going ahead as planned this year, we are looking forward to working with them, and  partners across the city to make it happen in 2022.  

    We now have another year to build on the plans to ensure a long-lasting legacy for the event – working with schools and across the local community to continue to inspire people about the sport. It is set to be a fantastic event – bringing world class talent in Rugby League to York and something to really get excited about for next year!” 

    Troy Grant, IRL Chair, said: 

    On behalf of the whole international Rugby League community, I must thank Jon Dutton, Chris Brindley and their team for their unstinting efforts.  I know that their focus is now on 2022. I also place on record our thanks to the UK Government, our sponsors and partners for their support throughout this whole process. They have been outstanding and understanding friends and we look forward to continuing the journey with them. 

    “We must now move forward quickly from this point to build confidence in our sport internationally and to seize the opportunity which still presents itself; to deliver the best Rugby League World Cup ever. I look forward to 2022 and the future with optimism and a renewed focus on the importance of international Rugby League for all our members large and small. 

    “We have seen the success that the Olympic Games and the Euro 2020 championship experienced after their postponements, and we are all determined to deliver the best Rugby League World Cup ever in 2022.” 

    Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said:  

    “I am disappointed that we’ve needed to take the decision to delay the Rugby League World Cup. Despite working tirelessly to explore solutions that would allow us to go ahead as planned, circumstances beyond our control have meant that postponing the Rugby League World Cup until next year is the strongest option for staging a successful tournament. 

    “In the best interests of the sport and its millions of supporters around the world, I look forward to the Rugby League authorities in all competing nations accommodating a rearranged tournament in 2022, so we can put on the spectacle the fans deserve.” 

    Information on the rescheduling of the tournament and new dates will be released by organisers in due course. For the latest news and ticketing updates sign-up via 

    For existing ticket holders details regarding the next steps for ticket transfers and refunds will be provided directly by no later than 12 August 2021. 


    For more information, contact: 

    Michael Gibson 

    Head of Media and Communications, RLWC2021 


    Phone: +44(0)7435556074 

    Amy Goodman – Consumer Communications Manager 
    Phone: 07719105088 

    Rugby League World Cup to be staged in 2022 Read More »

    Residents invited to a ‘Summer of Sport’ Open Day

    As part of the ‘Summer of Sport’ events programme, a special open day will be taking place in the city centre on Sunday 8th August with a variety of sports clubs and community groups coming together to showcase the sport and leisure activities residents can get involved with.  

    Taking place from 11AM until 4.30PM in St Sampson’s Square, residents are invited to come along to find out more about the city’s community sport and leisure offer, chat to providers and clubs and get involved in some fun taster activities with the chance to win prizes.   

    A series of sporty challenges will be available on the day for residents and visitors to take part in – including everything from a squash wall, rowing and cycling challenges, practicing football and hockey skills.  

    Leisure providers and clubs taking part include:  

    • City of York Hockey Club – learn more about York’s Hockey Club and take part in their hockey goal scoring challenge 
    • York Sports Village – find out more about the York Sports Village facilities and join their rowing machine challenge 
    • Walx – Nordic Walking –  learn more about using Nordic walking poles or how to walk for relaxation or fitness, whatever your fitness level. 
    • Open Country – Walking and Cycling – find out more about Open Country, who have over 30 years of experience in successfully organising and leading countryside activities for people with disabilities  
    • Wigginton Squash Club – take on the squash wall and find out more about how you can get involved with the club 
    • York City Football Club Foundation – find out more about York City Football Club Foundation and test your football skills with their ‘Keepy Uppy’ challenge  
    • GLL Better – learn more about the facilities here in York and take a turn on their spin bike challenge. 
    • City York Council Walking and Cycling and Sport and Active Leisure – pick up a leaflet and find out where you can walk and cycle across the city.  And talk to the sport and active leisure team about your local sport or physical activity provider. 

    The event is part of the Summer of Sport programme of activities which take place in the city centre until 5th September. In a collaboration between Make It York, THOR’s Tipi and First Bus York, the activity includes an interactive sporty sculpture trail, pop-up tipi bars, a street food village and urban running routes.  

    Throughout August, residents and visitors can also enjoy free yoga classes at THOR’s tipi each week in partnership with Emperor’s Gym. Classes run each Wednesday (07.30AM -08.30AM) and Friday (08.30AM – 09.30AM) with pre-booking required by email to Free outdoor ping pong tables, sponsored by JORVIK Viking Centre are also located on Parliament Street for people to enjoy this month.  

    Dominic Berry, Senior Events Manager at Make It York said: “We are delighted to welcome sports clubs and groups from across York to the city centre for this special open day as part of our ‘Summer of Sport’ programme of activity. York has such a wide variety of fantastic sports clubs and leisure facilities and the event will be a great opportunity to showcase this and support residents to find out more about what is available in their city.” 

    Councillor Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure & Communities at City of York Council, said: “I’m delighted pleased that residents can enjoy and benefit from this brilliant series of activities. They are much-needed opportunities after a year when so many of us haven’t been able to be as active as usual. The Summer of Sport is a terrific showcase for some of the city’s excellent clubs, so have a go and see what you discover!” 

    Download the Summer of Sport map sponsored by First Bus York at or pick up printed copies in the Visitor Information Centre at 1 Museum Street.  


    Notes to Editor 

    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, festivals and events, business support and inward investment. 

    For further information please contact: 

    Amy Goodman – Consumer Communications Manager 

    Ana Ignatova – Communications Executive 


    Residents invited to a ‘Summer of Sport’ Open Day Read More »

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