Events

Visit York Tourism Awards 2022 finalists revealed

Finalists in the Visit York Tourism Awards, sponsored by LNER, have been revealed today. The prestigious awards ceremony returns on Thursday 3rd March 2022 with the best of York’s businesses going head to head to win one of 15 trophies. The event aims to shine a spotlight on excellence in York’s tourism sector and reward outstanding service, innovation, quality and resilience.   

These prestigious ‘Tourism Oscars of the North’ will be hosted by York Mix Radio Presenters Ben Fry and Laura Castle and will be held at the splendid York Racecourse. Eligible winners across a number of categories will be automatically put forward to the national Visit England Awards for Excellence 2022 to compete for the crown of the country’s best.  

New categories for 2022 include ‘Resilience & Innovation Award’ to honour organisations who have built on their strengths, innovated their business and showed incredible resilience during a difficult time for the industry. Another new ‘Unsung Hero’ award recognises an individual working for a tourism business who excels in their role and deserves to be applauded for their work and commitment to the industry. 

Ashley Young, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager at Make It York, said: “We are so proud of the vibrant and flourishing tourism sector in York, which welcomes millions of visitors to the city each year as well as creates an atmosphere full of culture and diversity for the residents. There are so many organisations around the city working incredibly hard year round to deliver the highest quality visitor experiences, which has been especially challenging during the past two years. The awards will reward those who are truly exceptional in their field. Good luck to all finalists – we all look forward to celebrating the successes at the ceremony in March.” 

David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said: “From historic sites to wonderful places to eat and stay, York has so much to offer and is one of our most popular destinations on the LNER route. It is therefore great to see so many of the city’s businesses and individuals who work incredibly hard to create outstanding visitor experiences, recognised at the Visit York Tourism Awards.” 

 
Councillor Darryl Smalley: Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, said: “We all know what an incredibly challenging 18 months these businesses will all have faced, and that’s why it’s more important than ever to celebrate the incredible range of businesses that York is lucky enough to be home to. These businesses are an essential part of our great city and I am delighted to see such a diverse group of finalists this year. I wish them all the best of luck and whilst it’s been said many times before, it really is a significant achievement to be shortlisted and you are all winners already.” 

Visit York Tourism Awards Finalists 2022:  

B&B and Guest House of the Year ** 

MonkBridge House 

Tower Guest House 

Westergate House 

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year ** 
Springwood Shepherd Huts Glamping York 

Wigwam Holidays Ball Hall Farm 

Wolds Walk Glamping 

Experience of the Year ** 
Castle Howard 

The Bloody Tour of York 

The Cookery School at The Grand, York 

The Deathly Dark Tours 

Event of the Year* ** 
That JORVIK Viking Thing 

The Great Ryedale Maze 

York Balloon Fiesta  

York Maze 

Large Hotel of the Year – Sponsored by Streamline Taxis 

Hotel Indigo York 

Middletons Hotel 

The Grand, York 

The Principal York 

Sandburn Hall Hotel 

 
Large Visitor Attraction of the Year – Sponsored by YO1 Radio 
JORVIK Viking Centre 

The York Dungeon 

York Art Gallery 

York’s Chocolate Story 

New Tourism Business of the Year – Sponsored by City Cruises 
The Deathly Dark Tours 

Malmaison York 

Sandburn Hall Hotel 

York Riverside Apartments 

Pub of the Year – Sponsored by Hunter Gee Holroyd 
House of Trembling Madness Lendal 

House of Trembling Madness Stonegate 

The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub 

Self Catering Accommodation of the Year ** 

Heritage Escapes (York) 

Roomzzz Aparthotels – York City 

Staycity Aparthotels 

The Enchantment Chamber 

The Riverside York 

Resilience and Innovation Award – Sponsored by Fabler & Co 

The Deathly Dark Tours 

The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub 

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway 

The Web Adventure Park 

Trembling Madness Ltd 

York Gin 

Shop Experience of the Year* – Sponsored by Fidomoney  
The Antiques Centre York 

York’s Chocolate Story 

York Gin 

Small Hotel of the Year – Sponsored by Hospitality Staffing 
Galtres Lodge 

Grays Court Hotel & The Bow Room Restaurant 

The Judge’s Lodging 

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year ** 

Fairfax House 

Mother Shipton’s  

York Army Museum 

Taste of England Award** 
Forest at Galtres Lodge 

Mr Chippy York 

Plush Café 

The Bow Room Restaurant at Grays Court Hotel 

The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub 

Unsung Hero Award - Sponsored by LNER 

Dean Court Hotel 

Middletons Hotel 

Galtres Lodge 

*Visit York only. These categories are not eligible to go forward to the Visit England Awards for Excellence. 

**Sponsorship opportunities available. 

Tickets for the glittering awards ceremony event on Thursday 3rd March 2022 are available from today. Book your tickets here. 

ENDS 

For further information please contact:  

Sarah Foster, Communications Manager at Make It York 

Email: comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors: 

Make It York  

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.  The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, Shambles Market and festivals and events. 

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand  

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. 

Key tourism facts (pre-covid): 

8.4 million visitors annually, £765 million total visitor spend, supporting 24,000 jobs 

Winners of the Visit York Tourism Awards 2020: 

B&B and Guest House of the Year – sponsored by Booking.com  
Winner: Woodlands Farm Thimbleby 
Finalists: No.21 York 

Business Events Venue of the Year – sponsored by Spark 
Winner: The Grand, York  
Finalists: Novotel, York BarbicanYork Racecourse 

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year – sponsored by Minster FM 
Winner: Vale of Pickering Caravan Park 
Finalists: Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges, York Holiday & Cycle Stop  

Experience of the Year – sponsored by LNER 
Winner: The Bloody Tour of York 
Highly Commended: The Cookery School at The Grand, York 
Finalists: Castle Howard, Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience 

Event of the Year* – sponsored by LNER 
Winner: York Maze Hallowscream 
Highly Commended: York Minster – The Northern Lights 
Finalists:  JORVIK Viking Festival 

International Tourism Award – sponsored by City Cruises York 
Winner: The Grand, York  
Finalists: OE Media 

Large Hotel of the Year – sponsored by Streamline Taxis 
Winner: The Grand, York 
Finalists: Grantley Hall, Hotel Indigo York, The Principal Hotel 
 
Large Visitor Attraction of the Year – sponsored by Fowlers of York 
Winner: Castle Howard  
Finalists: JORVIK Viking Centre, National Railway Museum 

New Tourism Business of the Year – sponsored by Minster FM  
Winner: Grantley Hall 
Finalists: Northwood Trail, England’s Fairy Sanctuary, OE Media, Yorkshire Appetite Food Tours 

Pub of the Year – sponsored by Hunter Gee Holroyd 
Winner: The Drovers Arm Restaurant & Country Pub 
Finalists: House of Trembling Madness (Lendal), The Ackhorne, The Botanist York 

Self Catering Accommodation of the Year – sponsored by HomeAway 
Winner: Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges 
Finalists: Serenity Inn the City, The Enchantment Chamber 

Shop of the Year* – sponsored by York BID 
Winner: York Gin 
Highly Commended: Bluebird Bakery 
Finalists: The Balloon Tree Farmshop & Café, The Shop That Must Not Be Named 

Small Hotel of the Year – sponsored by Yorkshire Laundry Services 
Winner: Grays Court Hotel 
Finalists: Dean Court Hotel, The Parisi Hotel 

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year – sponsored by York Pass 
Winner: Energi Trampoline Park  
Finalists: Barley Hall, Locked in Games York, Mother Shipton’s Cave, York Army Museum 

Taste of York Award – sponsored by Morrell Middleton 
Winner: Roots, York 
Highly Commended: The Whippet Inn 
Finalists: Plush Café, The Star Inn The City, The York Roast Co 

Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Award – sponsored by Yorkshire Gas & Power  
Winner: JORVIK Group of Attractions 

Tourism Champion of the Year* 
Winner: Ben Fry 

Visit York Tourism Awards 2022 finalists revealed Read More »

RLWC2021: Rescheduled Fixtures For York Announced

  • With one year to go to the RLWC2021 finals, the revised schedule for 2022 has been published in full and is available via: rlwc2021.com/schedule  
  • All 18 original host town and cities remain involved with the rescheduling only impacting five matches (four match-days)
  • York to host eight women’s matches, including both semi-finals at LNER Community Stadium
  • All tournament finals to be played in Manchester with Manchester Central set to host the wheelchair final
  • Wigan’s DW Stadium to host the double-header men’s quarter final and England v Canada women’s Group A match
  • General admission tickets and hospitality for all 61 matches will go on sale from 9am GMT today (19 November) via: rlwc2021.com/tickets

In exactly one year’s time, the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup in history will reach its thrilling climax in a showpiece weekend in Manchester featuring the wheelchair final followed by the double-header men’s and women’s final at Old Trafford. 

Today (November 19) Rugby League World Cup 2021 tournament organisers have confirmed the full revised 61 match schedule for the tournament in 2022 including the full fixtures for York.

Across the city, partners have been working with the Rugby League World Cup team to bring the event to York – including City of York Council, York City Knights, Make It York, GLL, York St John University, University of York and Queen Ethelberga’s – with the games set to be held at the new LNER community stadium next year.

York will host eight women’s matches, including the double-header semi-final at LNER Community Stadium:

  • 2 Nov: New Zealand vs France at 17:00
  • 2 Nov: Australia vs Cook Islands at 19:30
  • 6 Nov: New Zealand vs Cook Islands at 17:00
  • 6 Nov: Australia vs France at 19:30
  • 10 Nov: France vs Cook Islands at 17:00
  • 10 Nov: Australia vs New Zealand at 19:30
  • 14 Nov: Semi-Final 1 at 17:00
  • 14 Nov: Semi-Final 2 at 19:30

Five weeks of world-class sporting action begins at St James’ Park, Newcastle on October 15 before Headingley Stadium, Leeds opens the women’s tournament on November 1 and a double-header at the iconic Copper Box, London kicks off the wheelchair event on November 3. Full schedule is available here.

Only five RLWC2021 fixtures (four match-days) have been affected during the rescheduling of 61 matches staged at 21 iconic venues, across 18 host towns and cities. These changes involve the switching of two fixtures between existing venues in Leeds and Hull and the relocation of fixtures from Anfield Stadium and M&S Bank Arena.

In the men’s tournament there will be one venue swap with the match between Australia and Fiji on the opening day (October 15) now taking place at Headingley Stadium, Leeds due to a clash with another event in Hull. In return, the MKM Stadium, Hull will now host New Zealand v Jamaica in Group C on October 22 – a fixture that was due to be played in Leeds.

Wigan’s DW Stadium will provide the stage for the double-header which features the second men’s quarter-final as well as England women v Canada women on November 5.

Manchester will create further sporting history by hosting all three tournament finals over a weekend of global Rugby League celebration. Manchester Central in the heart of the city centre will now host the wheelchair final on November 18. The following day (November 19) the showpiece men’s and women’s double-header final will take place at Old Trafford, Manchester.

All 32 teams across the 21 competing nations participating in the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments have fully committed to the revised tournament schedule in 2022.

General admission tickets and hospitality for all 61 matches will be back on-sale from 9am GMT today in line with the full schedule reveal. Tickets can be purchased via: www.rlwc2021.com/tickets

Fans who have already purchased tickets for fixtures that have been changed will be contacted with information on their options from November 24. A dedicated refund window will be available from then until November 30.

Jon Dutton, RLWC2021 Chief Executive Officer, said:

“We have achieved our objective in delivering minimal disruption to the existing 61-match schedule and I want to place on record my thanks to all those who have made it possible.

“Every host town and city who joined us on this journey remains involved and they will set the stage for the very best that the sport has to offer. There are world class, compelling matches, across all three tournaments at some of the most iconic venues across England.

“We are delighted to make tickets available to purchase again and supporters can now look forward to being part of this unique global event. With match dates and locations confirmed, the excitement will only intensify as we look to the horizon and the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup.”

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Sarah Foster, Communications Manager, Make It York, comms@makeityork.com

Michael Gibson, Head of Media & Communications, RLWC2021, michael.gibson@rlwc2021.com, +44 (0) 7435 556074

About Rugby League World Cup 2021

The Rugby League World Cup is the pinnacle major event of Rugby League.RLWC2021 will be a breakthrough moment in the tournament’s history with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being staged together for the first time.

The three tournaments will take place across 21 venues throughout England. Both the women’s and wheelchair competitions will be contested by two groups of four teams, whilst the men’s tournament will see 16 teams compete across four groups.

RLWC2021 will be the most visible rugby league event in history with all 61 games in the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being broadcast live on the BBC.

Vision: Delivering the biggest and best ever Rugby League World Cup.

Mission: Creating inspirational moments that excite, engage, and leave a long-lasting legacy.

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

RLWC2021: Rescheduled Fixtures For York Announced Read More »

Visit York Tourism Conference 2022 looks ahead to ‘tourism in a post-pandemic world’

‘What kind of tourism do we want for the future and how can we get more from York’s visitor economy?’ will be the main topics of debate at the upcoming virtual Visit York Tourism Conference which will take place on Thursday 13th January 2022.  Businesses from across the city are invited to take part in this event which will explore how we can maximise York’s potential as a creative, inclusive and innovative place to live and visit. The virtual event is sponsored by LNER with tickets now available to book online.   

The event, compered by BBC Look North & BBC Radio York Presenter Clare Frisby, has a line up of expert tourism speakers including: Signe Jungersted and Peter Rømer Hansen, Founding Partners of Group NAO; Richard Nicholls, Head of Research and Forecasting at Visit Britain; and Aileen Crawford, Head of Tourism & Conventions at Glasgow Convention Bureau – with a welcome from Sarah Loftus, the newly appointed Managing Director of Make It York. A panel of tourism businesses including Abbi Ollive, Head of Marketing and Sales at Castle Howard; Andrew Lowson, Executive Director at York BID; Rebecca Hill, Managing Director at Galtres Lodge; and Kate McFerran, Communications Director at LNER, will also share their vision for the visitor economy and how we take a more holistic approach to York as a destination.  

Keynote speakers Signe Jungersted and Peter Rømer Hansen from Group NAO will lead the debate on how we can “build back better” post-pandemic and ensure our tourism industry creates value for the city beyond the typical metrics of growth in visitor numbers and visitor spend.  Looking at how we can take inspiration from cities across Europe, Group NAO have put together an in-depth report to explore the opportunities for York’s visitor economy. Presenting on their findings, Signe and Peter will discuss how the tourism industry can work together to develop and deliver a bigger, broader and bolder tourism strategy for the city post-covid.  

Delegates will also hear the latest insights and market trends from Visit Britain on the return of international tourism and learn more from Glasgow Convention Bureau on how business tourism can take the lead on a city’s sustainability strategy.  

Ashley Young, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager at Make It York, said ‘“We have a packed programme lined up for our next Visit York Tourism Conference, with insights from a range of expert speakers across the industry. Looking at how we maximise the value of our visitor economy will be key as we develop our tourism strategy post-covid and we are delighted to welcome Signe and Peter from Group NAO to present the findings from their recent research into the opportunities for York’s tourism industry. We will also be exploring key issues across the sector such as the return of international travel and how we ensure a sustainable approach to tourism. We look forward to bringing this event back for 2022 and welcoming businesses across the city to join us in the debate on how we create a bold vision for the future of the city’s tourism industry.”  

Signe Jungersted, CEO and Founding Partner at Group NAO, said: “There is an important paradigm shift taking place in tourism these years, shifting from tourism as an isolated goal in itself to tourism as an integrated means to sustain better quality of life in the cities that welcome tourism. In interviews and discussions with representatives of York’s wider visitor and experience economy, it became clear that while most agree York has fared well through the crisis, there is a strong and shared ambition to take a leap further into the future and rebuild York’s visitor economy in a more sustainable and integrated way. We can’t wait to discuss what that future might look like with everyone at the Visit York Tourism Conference 2022” 

Sponsors of VYCON22, LNER’S Managing Director David Horne said: “We are proud of the role LNER plays in York’s tourism industry, with our business delivering an annual contribution of more than £486 million to the Yorkshire and Humber economy. Our environmentally friendly fleet of Azuma trains offer the most sustainable and enjoyable way for people to come and explore the great range of attractions, heritage and culture on offer. The Visit York Tourism Conference 2022 is an invaluable opportunity to come together and build on the great work already underway to attract even more people to come and experience York.” 

ENDS 

For further information please contact:  

Sarah Foster – Communications Manager at Make It York 

Direct Line: 07719105088 

Email: sarah.foster@makeityork.com   

Notes to Editors: 

Virtual Conference Timings

09:30 Conference Opens – Clare Frisby

09:35 Welcome – Sarah Loftus

09:45 When will International Tourism Return? – VisitBritain

Richard Nicholls, Head of Research and Forecasting at VisitBritain, covers the latest insights and market trends from Visit Britain on the return of international tourism to the UK. 

10:05 Tourism for a Better City – Group NAO

In Autumn 2020, Make it York commissioned Group NAO to elaborate on how York’s visitor economy could ‘build back better’ post pandemic.

Group NAO scanned the European horizon for inspirational reference cases and interviewed close to 20 key stakeholders in York’s visitor economy and city management about their inspirations and aspirations for the future.

Signe Jungersted and Peter Rømer Hansen, founding Partners of Group NAO, present the results from this research.

10:35 Becoming a sustainable destination – Glasgow Convention Bureau

We hear from Aileen Crawford, Head of Tourism & Conventions at Glasgow Convention Bureau, about how business tourism can take the lead on a city’s sustainability strategy, becoming a sustainable destination and getting the accreditation to prove it.

As part of their journey towards city resilience, Glasgow City Council and Visit Glasgow have joined the GDS (Global Destinations Sustainability) movement, the world’s leading benchmarking and performance improvement programme for tourism destinations.

10.55 Break

11:10 Panel discussion 

A panel of tourism businesses share their vision for the visitor economy and how we take a more holistic approach to York as a destination.

11.30 Conference closes 

About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.  The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events and culture.  

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand  

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. 

About the Speakers 

Richard Nicholls, Head of Research and Forecasting at Visit Britain 

Richard Nicholls joined VisitBritain in 2015 as Head of Research and Forecasting. He and his team are responsible for analysis of inbound tourism data, insights and prospects both for VisitBritain and for the benefit of the wider UK tourism industry. 

Signe Jungersted and Peter Rømer Hansen, Founding Partners at Group NAO 

Signe Jungersted and Peter Rømer Hansen are founding partners in innovation and strategy agency Group NAO. Group NAO works with strategic transformation and innovation within the experience and visitor economy. Recent projects include 101sustainableideas.com with Gothenburg, Power of Community series with European Cities Marketing, ‘Tourism Taxes by Design’ and ‘Time for DMOcracy’ as multi-client projects. 

Aileen Crawford, Head of Tourism & Conventions at Glasgow Convention Bureau  

Aileen is Head of Tourism & Conventions at the award-winning Glasgow Convention Bureau, responsible for the successful positioning of Glasgow as a conference destination for national and international association meetings. In addition, Aileen’s role includes Destination Management, working in partnership with industry, VisitScotland and Glasgow City Council in collaboration to develop and improve the visitor experience. 

 
About the Panellists 

Abbi Ollive, Head of Marketing and Sales at Castle Howard 
Abbi is a proud Yorkshire marketing and communications devotee and current member of Castle Howard’s Senior Management Team. After a ten year career in Theatre and a shorter stint in Higher Education, Abbi made the move into the Heritage and Visitor Attractions sector and has been Head of Marketing and Sales at Castle Howard for the past four years. 

Andrew Lowson, Executive Director at York BID 
Andrew began his career undertaking commercial master planning and project management within the aviation and rail sectors.  From this he worked in the area of economic development for a government agency before becoming Managing Director of a York based events company, where he helped double turnover and expanded operations into the south of the UK.  Andrew was appointed as Executive Director of the York BID due to his experience of running a small business alongside his understanding of working with multiple stakeholders on economic improvement programmes; not to mention his passion for York. 

Rebecca Hill, Managing Director at Galtres Lodge  

Rebecca Hill is the owner of Galtres Lodge Hotel and its Forest restaurant in York. She is also a marketing and revenue consultant for Hilltop Consulting, board member for York BID and as of early 2021 the newly appointed chair of Indie York. 

Visit York Tourism Conference 2022 looks ahead to ‘tourism in a post-pandemic world’ 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 visityork.org 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 www.visityork.org/Christmas or email info@visityork.org.  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.  

ENDS 


For further information please contact:  

Amy Goodman, Consumer Communications Manager 
Email: comms@makeityork.com   

Notes to editors: 

About Make It York  

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

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 rlwc2021.com/signup. 

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. 

Ends 

For more information, contact: 

Michael Gibson 

Head of Media and Communications, RLWC2021 

Email: michael.gibson@rlwc2021.com,  

Phone: +44(0)7435556074 

Amy Goodman – Consumer Communications Manager 
Email: amy.goodman@makeityork.com 
Phone: 07719105088 

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

Yorkshire Day celebrations for York residents and visitors

To celebrate Yorkshire Day a series of fun Yorkshire-themed activities will be taking place throughout the city centre over the weekend (30th July to 1st August), coordinated by Make It York, York BID and City of York Council. City centre streets will be decked out with Yorkshire bunting for the three-day celebrations, with local businesses across the city invited to dress their windows in all things Yorkshire.  

Kicking off from Friday 30th July, residents and visitors are invited to take their best selfies with fun Yorkshire countryside themed props at selfie points located on Parliament Street and Tower Gardens.  People are encouraged to get creative and snap their best Yorkshire photos and post to social media using #York_ShireDay #LoveYork and tagging in @VisitYork and @YorkBID for the chance to win a £250 York Gift Card each day.  

Throughout the three days there will also be series of family-friendly movie screenings with big screens located on St Sampson’s Square and Tower Gardens. Running each day, family classics including ‘Chicken Run’, ‘Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit’ and ‘A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon’ will be screening with additional seating out for residents and visitors to sit back and enjoy the films. Archive footage of York from days gone by will also be airing throughout the day with a full film schedule available on visityork.org/yorkshire-day.   

Some of the finest local products will also be taking centre stage, with York Gin, Crumbs Cupcakery and Love Cheese all with stalls on St Sampson’s Square, as well the Visit York Visitor Information Centre team being on hand with expert advice on making the most of York and Yorkshire. 

As part of the celebrations York’s Civic party will also be welcoming a small number of Civic Heads from across Yorkshire to celebrate Yorkshire’s special status and York’s unique environment and cultural heritage in a Covid-safe way. 

Helen Apsey, Head of Culture and Wellbeing at Make It York said: “We are so excited to celebrate Yorkshire Day in the city with a fun-packed weekend of activities for residents and visitors to get involved with. We are proud to be a Yorkshire city and it’s great to be able to celebrate this special day with local people, businesses and visitors to the city after what has been a difficult year for us all. We hope people will really enjoy all the themed activities this weekend and experience the fantastic ambience and atmosphere of York on Yorkshire Day.”  

Andrew Lowson, Executive Director at York BID said: “We are delighted to be helping put the ‘York’ back into Yorkshire Day. With films, food and photo competitions there’s something for everyone to enjoy this weekend, in addition to the warm hospitality and top-class service that local businesses provide all year round.” 
 

 
Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said: “Yorkshire Day is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate, and reflect on, all that is great about our city and county. 

“As a region famed for the strength of character of its residents, the last 19 months have shown how our communities come together in the face of adversity. Their resilience, compassion and understanding has showcased the very best of our county. 

“Those attributes of tolerance, understanding and respect, which have been so important throughout the pandemic, will help us to continue to support one another as, together, we take the next steps into new ways of living and working.” 

“I’m looking forward to enjoying archive Yorkshire films in St Sampson’s Square, seeing the Chicken Run in Tower Gardens, as well as welcome different Mayors from across Yorkshire to enjoy our city” 

Find out more at visityork.org/yorkshire-day  

ENDS 

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 
Email: amy.goodman@makeityork.com 

Ana Ignatova – Communications Executive 

Email: ana.ignatova@makeityork.com  

Yorkshire Day celebrations for York residents and visitors Read More »

Rugby League World Cup 2021 organisers on schedule to deliver trailblazing tournament – with eight matches to be hosted in York

  • RLWC2021 organisers have confirmed that they will deliver the biggest and best ever Rugby League World Cup in October and November 2021 
  • York will host eight women’s tournament fixtures, including both women’s semi-finals at the LNER Community Stadium 
  • To mark the 100-day countdown to the opening match of the tournament between hosts England and Samoa at St James’ Park, Newcastle, all remaining tickets will go on sale today via rlwc2021.com/tickets 
  • To celebrate the 100 days to go 100 tickets for York matches are available to win on visityork.org/rlwc2021 

Rugby League World Cup 2021 organisers today (15 July) confirmed that the trailblazing event will go ahead as scheduled in October and November 2021 with eight women’s tournament fixtures, including both women’s semi-finals at the LNER Community Stadium.  

With 100 days to go until the opening match of the tournament, tickets are now back on general sale via rlwc2021.com/tickets. In celebration of the countdown there are also 100  tickets available to win by taking part in Visit York’s competition on visityork.org/rlwc2021

Picture by Will Palmer/SWpix.com – 13/07/2021 – RLWC2021 Rugby League World Cup 2021. The Rugby League World Cup Trophies and Ben Fry (York Town Crier) pictured in front of York Minster, York.

The global event, which sees the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments taking place simultaneously for the first time, will be played in front of passionate capacity crowds in a celebration of sport.  

At a pivotal moment for the international Rugby League, tournament organisers have worked relentlessly to provide certainty and clarity by tackling the significant challenges presented by the pandemic. Organisers have successfully delivered record sponsorship deals, including a domestic broadcast deal which means all matches will be live across BBC platforms, and have sold significant overseas broadcast rights. 

At the same time, ticket sales have so far exceeded expectations and the positive social contribution to communities, including some of those hardest hit by the pandemic has been extensive. 

Picture by Will Palmer/SWpix.com – 13/07/2021 – RLWC2021 Rugby League World Cup 2021. The Rugby League World Cup Trophies pictured inside the LNER Community Stadium, York.

Jon Dutton, Chief Executive of RLWC2021, said: 

“We are delighted to be able to provide clarity and certainty to fans, players, partners, media and those that have supported our journey over the past few years. We have an overwhelming desire to deliver the biggest and best ever Rugby League World Cup and through our determination and decisiveness we will be able to achieve this vision. 

“We recognise there are still many challenges ahead, but we will work relentlessly and will take the most extraordinary measures with the support of all involved to stage the tournament in 100 days time. 

“Despite the adversity we have faced, we have never lost sight of our core purpose of making a positive impact on people’s lives. Our social impact programme has and will continue to be a beacon of much needed positivity and hope in communities across England. 

“We have no doubt that the Rugby League family, along with the 20,021 key workers we have invited, the many fans who will see the action live in the stadiums across England and the millions watching around the world will be part of a unifying celebration of sport and humanity.” 

Councillor Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism said: 

“We are delighted that the 2021 Rugby League World Cup will be coming to York later this year, giving us something to really look forward to as a city. The line-up of games at the LNER Community Stadium looks set to offer some fantastic entertainment for residents and visitors as we welcome world-class athletes to our city.” 

Jon Flatman, Chairman of York City Knights said: 

The excitement is really building now with just 100 days to go until the Rugby League World Cup 2021 tournament begins. The tournament has a huge global reach and a strong community-led approach and it’s such a brilliant event for York and the sport more widely. We are looking forward to welcoming players and fans to the city to be a part of sporting history this November!” 

Charlotte Hawes, Events Manager at Make It York said: 

“Reaching the 100 days milestone is hugely exciting and we can’t wait for the tournament to come to York later this year. The last year has been challenging for everyone and it’s brilliant to see live events on this scale returning to the city. The tournament will provide a real boost to York, bringing some of the biggest names in the sport here to experience the city’s world class offer.” 

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“As we reach 100 days to go, the anticipation is building with Rugby League’s biggest competition coming back to England.” 

“After the challenges of the past 18 months where the positive impact of Rugby League in communities has shone through, the moment when the men’s, women’s and wheelchair teams take to the pitch will be a watershed moment for both the sport and the country.” 

“I’m delighted that fans can look forward to a festival of Rugby League that promises to inspire new fans and grow the grassroots, and the Government has been pleased to play its part in supporting this incredible inclusive event.” 

York will host six women’s group stage fixtures, and both semi-finals: 

  • New Zealand vs France – Wednesday 10 November at 17:00 
  • Australia vs Cook Islands – Wednesday 10 November at 19:30 
  • New Zealand vs Cook Islands – Sunday 14 November at 17:00 
  • Australia vs France – Sunday 14 November at 19:30 
  • France vs Cook Islands – Thursday 18 November at 17:00 
  • Australia vs New Zealand – Thursday 18 November at 19:30 
  • Semi-final 1: Group B Winner vs Group A Runner-Up – Monday 22 November at 17:00 
  • Semi-final 2: Group A Winner vs Group B Runner-Up – Monday 22 November at 19:30 

For more information visit visityork.org/rlwc2021    

ENDS 


Notes to Editor 

Rugby League World Cup 2021 

The Rugby League World Cup is the pinnacle major event of rugby league, globally contested every four years. RLWC2021 will be a breakthrough moment in the tournament’s history with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being staged together for the first time. 

The three tournaments will take place across 21 venues throughout England. Both the women’s and wheelchair competitions will be contested by two groups of four teams, whilst the men’s tournament will see 16 teams compete across four groups.  

RLWC2021 will be the most visible rugby league event in history with all 61 games in the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being broadcast live on the BBC. 

Vision: Delivering the biggest and best ever Rugby League World Cup. 

Mission: Creating inspirational moments that excite, engage, and leave a long-lasting legacy. 

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 
Email: amy.goodman@makeityork.com 

Ana Ignatova – Communications Executive 
Email: ana.ignatova@makeityork.com  

Rugby League World Cup 2021 organisers on schedule to deliver trailblazing tournament – with eight matches to be hosted in York Read More »

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