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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

York

A new eight-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 (b.paddison@yorksj.ac.uk). 

END

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:

Contact: comms@makeityork.com   

About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities. These are: City positioning and profile-raising; Ensuring an exciting city centre; Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy.   

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

VisitEngland-Awards-for-Excellence-winners-2024

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.

    END

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

    Notes to Editors

    Download images 

    Contact: comms@makeityork.com   

    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. VisitYork.org 

    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. 

    ENDS 

    ————————————————- 

    Notes to Editors: 

    Download picturesCredit: as per in photo title.  

    Contact: comms@makeityork.com  

    About Make It York 

    Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities. These are: City positioning and profile-raising; Ensuring an exciting city centre; Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy.  

    About 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.  visityork.org/snooks 

    ————————————————- 

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

    Online bidding is now open to take home your favourite Snook and support a good cause

    The excitement of online bidding is underway, so secure your chance to be among the first to bid on the captivating Snooks sculptures! 

    There are 22 four-and-a-half-foot sculptures to take home including; 19 unique sculptures which have been designed by talented artists to create its own identity and style; the Starstruck Snook which has been autographed by nearly 30 notable stars that have performed at York Barbican including Jack Whitehall, David Walliams, Lloyd Griffith, Jonathan Pie (aka Tom Walker), and Scouting for Girls; and two ‘paint your own’ so you can unleash your creativity and give it your own design flair. 

    So, scroll through the bidding catalogue and start your bid in the Online Auction now.  

    The event gives you the opportunity to own your very own Snooks sculpture while supporting crucial causes. The funds raised will be split between St Leonard’s Hospice, who provide life-changing support for families across York every day, and York Creates Fund, a micro-fund that supports cultural and creative activity in the city.  

    The one-of-a-kind charity auction takes place on Thursday 9 May 2024 at York Barbican with auctioneer Derek Matthewson from TV series Bangers and Cash, and host Mad Alice from the award-winning The Bloody Tour of York. 

    You can book your tickets, at only £5, to attend in person, and also join via the online live stream on the day. 

    Now, all you have to do is decide on your favourite Snooks to bid on! 

    ENDS 

    Notes to Editors: 

    Download Pictures including the bidding catalogue – Credit: as per in photo title.  

    Contact: comms@makeityork.com  

    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. More information on the trail can be found on our website: visityork.org/snooks 

    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. 

    Snooks Auction event page: https://visityork.org/snooks/snooks-auction 

    Online bidding is now open to take home your favourite Snook and support a good cause Read More »

    Credit: York Barbican

    Rare Snook sculpture signed by renowned figures to be auctioned

    Starstruck-Snook-Jack-Whitehall

    This is your chance to own a truly unique masterpiece, taking home your very own Snook sculpture autographed by the shining stars that have performed at York Barbican.  

    The unique four-and-a-half-foot sculpture, named Starstruck Snook, has taken centre stage at York Barbican since the start of the Snooks Trail from 2 March and has come across many big named stars, including; comedian and actors Jack Whitehall, David Walliams and Lloyd Griffith; news reporter, Jonathan Pie (aka Tom Walker); and the band members from Scouting for Girls. 

    As a beacon of community and culture, Starstruck Snook is a celebration of the arts, supporting the incredible work of St. Leonard’s Hospice, and promising some starlit surprises along the way. 

    With nearly 30 signatures from notable stars on this special Snook sculpture, it sure will be a favourite to bidders among the 21 sculptures up for bid at the Snook charity auction taking place on Thursday 9 May 2024 at York Barbican.  

    Don’t miss this opportunity to own a masterpiece while making a meaningful impact. By taking home one (or two) Snook sculpture, you will not only own a unique works of art but also contribute to making a tangible difference in the lives of those in support. The event aims to raise funds for St Leonard’s Hospice, who provide life-changing support for families across York every day, and for York Creates Fund, a micro-fund that supports cultural and creative activity in the city.  

    You’re invited to join us for an exclusive auction experience, whether in person or via our live online stream. Secure your spot now for in person for just £5, as tickets are limited. 

    Bids can be made online or by attending a special charity auction: 

    What: Snooks Charity Auction  

    Date: Thursday 9 May 2024 

    Venue: York Barbican 

    Tickets for in person, £5: Book your tickets today. 

    The event is set to be an exciting event with our host is Derek Matthewson from TV series Bangers and Cash and presented by Mad Alice from the award-winning The Bloody Tour of York. Don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity. 

     

    ENDS 

     

    Notes to Editors: 

    Pictures: can be downloaded here Credit: York Barbican 

     

    The Starstruck Snook sculpture at York Barbican has been signed by:  

    Sarah Millican 

    Phil Wang 

    Simon Reeve 

    Lloyd Griffith  

    Jack Whitehall 

    James Martin 

    Jonathan Pie 

    Gary Davies  

    Sophie EllisBextor 

    Rick Wakeman 

    Jon Richardson 

    The Hollies 

    Emma Kenny 

    Stuart Michael  

    Professor Brian Cox 

    Dawn French 

    Elvana 

    Jesse Dayton 

    Samantha Fish 

    David Walliams 

    Toyah  

    David Mahoney 

    Harry Redknapp 

    Lloyd Cole 

    Leigh Francis aka Keith Lemon 

    Scouting for Girls 

    Luke Whitehouse  

    The Commoners  

    York Guildhall Orchestra 

     

    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. More information on the trail can be found on our website: visityork.org/snooks 

    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. 

    Rare Snook sculpture signed by renowned figures to be auctioned Read More »

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

    Download high-res images here. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Ends 

    Notes to Editor 

    Photo credit to Make It York 

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

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

    Winners of the Visit York Tourism Awards 2024 Revealed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ENDS

    Notes to Editors

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

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

    Winner: The Guildhall, York

    Finalists: The Guildhall York, and City Cruises

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

    Winner: MonkBridge House

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

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

    Winner: High Oaks Grange

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

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

    Winner: Christmas at Castle Howard

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

    Experience of the Year, sponsored by LNER

    Winner: The Deathly Dark Tours

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

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

    Winner: The Deathly Dark Tours

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

    Large Hotel of the Year, sponsored by Streamline Taxis

    Winner: The Grand

    Highly Commended: Middletons Hotel

    Finalists: Middletons Hotel, Moxy York, The Grand

    Large Visitor Attraction of the Year, sponsored by Ward Hadaway

    Winner: The York Dungeon

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

    New Tourism Business Award, sponsored by PPS Essentials

    Winner: Wizard Walk of York

    Highly Commended: Hart Lake Escapes

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

    Pub of the Year, sponsored by Hunter Gee Holroyd

    Winner: The Lime Tree Inn

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

    Retailer of the Year, sponsored by York BID

    Winner: The Potions Cauldron

    Finalists: York Gin, Love Cheese, The Potions Cauldron

    Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year, sponsored by Pyper

    Winner: 101 House at the End

    Finalists: Roomzzz Aparthotel York, 101 House at the End

    Small Hotel of the Year, sponsored by Booking.com

    Winner: The Pheasant Hotel

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

    Small Visitor Attraction of the Year, sponsored by Shambles Market

    Winner: World of James Herriot

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

    Taste of England Award, sponsored by Fowlers of York

    Winner: Legacy at The Grand

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

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

    Winner: The Wizard Walk of York

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

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

    Winner: Indra Petersone from Hilton York

    Highly Commended: Julia Betteridge from Middlethorpe Hall & Spa

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

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

    For more information, please contact:

    Communications Team at Make It York

    Comms@makeityork.com

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

    Damaged Snooks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Damaged Snooks Read More »

    York Character Trail: The Snooks are in York! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ENDS 

    For more information, contact:  

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

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

    Notes to Editors:  

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

    About Make It York  

    Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities. These are: City positioning and profile-raising; Ensuring an exciting city centre; Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy. 

    About St Leonard’s Hospice  

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

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

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

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

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

    The shortlist includes:

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

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

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

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

    Tickets for the glittering awards ceremony event on Thursday 14th March 2024 are available from today. Book your tickets here. (Tickets cost £75 plus VAT for Visit York members, or £70 plus VAT when booking a table of 10. Tickets cost £95 plus VAT for non-members).

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

    NOTES TO EDITORS:

    For more information, please contact:

    Comms@makeityork.com

    About Make It York

    Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities. 

    These are:

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

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

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