Make It York News

York’s new Culture Strategy to be launched at virtual event this December

York’s new Culture Strategy, York’s Creative Future, will launch on 3 December at a virtual launch event, which brings together local and national voices, including creative practitioners, grassroots activists, and cultural leaders, to debate and discuss best-practice in and around culture in the city.  

The virtual launch event will feature keynote speakers, including Dr Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England in conversation with York Museums Trust Chief Executive Reyahn King, and Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, Chief Executive of UK Music.  

York’s Creative Future has inclusion and participation at its core, and the commitment to ensuring culture is relevant and accessible to everybody in York, regardless of age, background or postcode. It places culture at the heart of activities from major capital developments, to residents’ wellbeing and cultural entitlement for every child.  

Key issues from the strategy, which will be discussed at the launch event, include cultural engagement and inclusion, how culture can support wellbeing, children and young people’s cultural entitlement, talent development and retention, culture and place, and York’s national and international profile. 

The event is free to attend and places can be booked on Eventbrite here

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said:

“We know that artists, arts organisations, museums and libraries change people’s lives for the better every day. And while the current pandemic means that we can’t be part of a live audience or participate in a creative activity as we usually would, it has been inspiring to see how the arts and cultural sector has rallied and found different ways to create and share content to lift people’s spirits during this difficult time. The Arts Council is doing everything we can to support the sector and ensure the survival of cultural and heritage organisations because we know how important creativity and culture are to the future wellbeing of the country and its communities.” 

Reyahn King, Chief Executive of York Museums Trust, said: 

“Culture is an intrinsic part of people’s lives, as shown by the way that culture has provided a beacon of light, offering moments of joy and connectedness during the Covid19 lockdown. Cultural organisations in York have also worked together to develop a Culture Strategy that reflects practical aspirations to support people’s mental health and wellbeing and is already being delivered for example by jointly providing activities for children most in need across the city. York’s world-renowned cultural heritage, museums and attractions, will play a vital part in the city’s recovery from the impact of the pandemic.  By continuing to invest in York’s culture and creativity, the Culture Strategy aims for York also to be recognised as a centre for contemporary creativity with engaged and active participation in culture by its residents.”    

 Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, UK Music Chief Executive, said:

“The music industry is a key part of our country’s cultural and economic fabric. It contributed £5.8 billion a year to the economy before Covid, supports almost 200,000 jobs, and brings huge educational and mental health benefits. It also plays a vital role in our communities and local economies. In 2019 alone, more than 700,000 music lovers travelled to the Yorkshire and Humber region for music events, spending £264 million in the local economy. The economic contribution of music is augmented by its huge cultural value which is just as important in the way it enriches all of our lives. I am confident that the music industry will be a key driving factor in the both UK’s economic and cultural regeneration as we emerge from the impact of Covid-19.” 

The Culture Strategy was brought together through robust consultation and workshops with York’s residents, creative groups and cultural organisations. It has taken on board what matters most to the people who live, work and study in the city and transformed these views into a plan of action to grow and develop York’s creative future.  

York’s Culture Strategy is a joint initiative and commitment between York’s Cultural Leaders Group*, City of York Council, and Make It York, the city’s destination management organisation, who lead on the strategy’s implementation.  

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

“York’s Creative Future as a strategy is coming to fruition in a world that is very different from the one in which it was initially planned. It’s now more important than ever to come together and work together to put York’s cultural offer at the forefront of recovery, supporting communities across York and building on the city’s reputation worldwide. York is home to so many extraordinary and creative people, all of whom make this city such a vibrant place for culture and creativity, and I would like to thank all the residents and organisations across the city who contributed to the development of this exciting strategy.” 

Helen Apsey, Head of Culture and Wellbeing at Make It York, said:

“York’s new Culture Strategy is a really ambitious and inclusive document. As a UNESCO Creative City, we have such a rich cultural offer in York, thanks to the work of our incredible creative practitioners, who have continued to innovate and find ways to create, share and inspire through their art, even during lockdown. The strategy really takes the best of what we are and our current cultural offer, and challenges us to make this accessible and relevant to everyone. Now we’re at the point of launching the strategy, I’m really excited to see how we take this forward together as a city, to ensure that culture can support people’s wellbeing and become a more integral part of our lives.”  

The Culture Strategy is set to be the first step in the city’s ambition to enhance York’s wider wellbeing through culture. More details about York’s cultural transformation will be available from 3 December at makeityork.com/culture.  

Book a place to attend the Culture Strategy virtual launch event on Eventbrite here

ENDS 


For further information, please contact: 

Katie Parsons – Corporate Communications Manager 
Email: comms@makeityork.com  

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

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

Notes to Editor 

*York’s Cultural Leader’s Group includes: 

Accessible Arts & Media; Aesthetica; Barbican; City of York Council; City Screen; English Heritage; Grand Opera House; Joseph Rowntree Theatre Ltd; Kaizen Arts Agency; Make It York; Music Venue Alliance; National Centre for Early Music; National Railway Museum; National Trust; Pilot Theatre; REACH (CEP); SLAP; The Guild of Media Arts; University of York; York Archaeological Trust (YAT); York Civic Trust (Fairfax House); York Dance Space; York Explore; York Literature Festival; York Mediale; York Minster; York Museums Trust; York Racecourse; York St John University; and York Theatre Royal. 

Tourism study confirms Covid-19 ‘tectonic shift’ across the North

  • Half of hospitality and leisure businesses across north of England were trading at a loss of over 60% for 10 weeks out of 16-week survey
  • Businesses expect revenue to recover in January 2022, compared to previous outlook of July 2021 at start of study, as a third of businesses report forward bookings for first quarter of 2021 are significantly down
  • A fifth of businesses surveyed unsure that they will be trading next summer
  • Roundtable event saw Yorkshire’s tourism board leaders and NatWest representatives discuss the ‘tectonic shift’ confirmed by the study and need for collaboration to ensure sector recovers

After almost a year of severe disruption for the tourism, hospitality and leisure sector, a contingent of tourism boards across the north of England have come together to discuss the findings of the NatWest North of England Tourism Barometer study.

Over the last sixteen weeks the NatWest North of England Tourism Business Barometer has taken the temperature of the North’s tourism business environment including changes in employment, trends in revenue and overall business confidence. The study commenced in mid-July when the UK was emerging out of lockdown and covered a period up to and including the introduction of the government’s three tier alert level in late October.

Led by Marketing Manchester, nine tourism boards – otherwise known as Destination Management Organisations (DMOs), including Make It York, Visit Leeds, Marketing Cheshire, Marketing Lancashire, Marketing Liverpool, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Visit County Durham and Cumbria Tourism, – were involved and recruited businesses from within their tourism economies that consistently participated in a regular survey.

At a roundtable event held on Friday 20 November, leaders from across the north came together with businesses that participated in the survey and senior economists from NatWest Group. Together they analysed the journey that the north of England’s tourism, hospitality and leisure sector undertook throughout the study period, how it can learn from the study, and move forward through the challenging winter and into recovery next year.

One of several key findings across the north of England that the study revealed is that businesses have, and continue, to carry significant losses to revenue, with 31% of businesses reporting a revenue loss of over 60% even at the peak of resumed business activity in late August. This was when the visitor economy had largely reopened after the first lockdown and initiatives such as Eat Out to Help Out were having a positive impact. Overall, around half of businesses were trading at a loss of over 60% for ten out of the sixteen weeks of the study.

Businesses across the north of England have had to make significant reductions to permanent and temporary staff, and from the end of September and throughout October half of businesses reported that they were downsizing their permanent staff over the next month.

Other key findings show that: a third of businesses reported forward bookings for January to March 2021 being significantly down on where they would usually be; that business confidence in revenue recovery has shifted from July 2021 at the beginning of the study to January 2022 at the end of the study; and that overall concerns about business survival shows that 21% of businesses are unsure if they will still be trading next summer.

Sean Bullick, Managing Director of Make It York, said: York has a world-class tourism and leisure industry and ensuring its continued success is vital. We are committed to championing a city-wide recovery plan that will support the sector to rebuild as we look ahead to 2021. York businesses have worked incredibly hard this year to adapt to the challenging impact of Covid-19, ensuring the city remains a safe place for visitors and residents to enjoy. Our focus now is to deliver a tourism recovery plan that ensures the industry continues to thrive in York for many years to come.” 

Cllr Judith Blake, Leader Leeds City Council said: “Hospitality is integral to our city’s economy, supporting thousands of jobs. Leeds is well known for community spirit and collaboration and our tourism businesses have worked extremely hard to put all measures in place to make them covid-safe environments. The tenacity and resilience they have shown during these incredibly difficult months has been inspiring. We will continue to work closely with local businesses in our hospitality sector throughout the pandemic and during the recovery, supporting them however we can to continue to operate as viable businesses.”

Richard Topliss, Chairman of the NatWest Regional Board, North, said:Tourism and the wider hospitality and leisure sector has faced and continues to endure unprecedented challenges as a result of the COVID pandemic. The tourism barometer has charted the ups and downs of businesses in the sector over the last four months and the final survey points to low confidence for the immediate future, and hence, the need for central and local government support, alongside business leaders and providers of finance, to work together to help the sector rebuild for the future when it becomes clear that widespread vaccination will permit a new normal to emerge for tourism.”

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

The NatWest Tourism Business Barometer is comprised of eight fortnightly reports delivered over the sixteen-week period from 21 July to 27 October. Copies of all editions of the NatWest Tourism Business Barometer are available upon request.

For images of destinations across the north of England, click here.

About NatWest

NatWest serves customers in England and Wales, supporting them with their personal, private, and business banking needs. NatWest helps customers at all stages in their lives, from opening student accounts, to buying their first home, setting up a business, and saving for retirement. Alongside a wide range of banking services, NatWest offers businesses specialist sector knowledge in areas such as manufacturing and technology, as well as access to specialist entrepreneurial support.

About Visit Leeds

Visit Leeds the official Destination Management Organisation for Leeds is run by Leeds City Council. Visit Leeds promotes and showcases the wealth of culture, events and attractions on offer in Leeds and the surrounding area. Their vision is for Leeds to be known as a world-class, modern and historic European destination with a reputation for a vibrant and creative cultural scene set against the backdrop of rich heritage and outstanding architecture. www.visitleeds.co.uk

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, business support and inward investment.

One of Make It York’s strategic aims is to promote York as a brilliant place to do business, helping to support business growth and innovation across a range of business sectors, such as financial & professional services, rail and high value manufacturing and to stimulate greater inward investment. www.makeityork.com

For further information, please contact:

Hilary Farmery

Marketing & PR manager, Visit Leeds

Email: hilary.farmery@visitleeds.co.uk

07891 270460

Amy Goodman

Communications manager, Make It York

Email: amy.goodman@makeityork.com

Visit York’s new online shop launches in time for Christmas

Visit York have today (23rd November) launched a new online shop with a range of York-themed gifts, and merchandise just in time for Christmas. Launching with over thirty high quality products, the shop features everything from beautiful York prints, mugs and candles, to iconic York Monopoly sets and a range of books about the city.  The new e-shop is now live here: shop.visityork.org

The online shop includes a new range of bespoke designed sweatshirtrs and hoodies in partnership with Visit York member Good Trip Clothing, a local York business who offer high quality organic clothes, manufactured using ethical and sustainable practices. The beautifully designed York-themed sweatshirts and hoodies will be on offer exclusively on the site, made from a blend of super soft organic cotton and high-grade polyester recycled from plastic bottles.

The shop will also include a stunning range of Temple Island products – including York themed mugs, coaster, candles and keyrings, with something for all budgets available. Products from local artists including ‘Art by Jo’ and ‘Staves Art’ will include unique hand drawn cityscape illustrations available on prints, greetings cards and cushions – perfect gifts for Christmas for residents and lovers of York. 

Visit York which is a part of Make It York, have launched the new shop area on visityork.org just in time for inclusion within the virtual Christmas market event which runs until 4th January online. The virtual market showcases a range of local traders, independent businesses and attractions selling an assortment of unique and local festive York produce, gifts and experiences.

Russell McCartney, Head of Commercial at Make It York said: “We are delighted to launch our new online shop which features some of the very best in York themed gifts and merchandise. We are really proud of the range on offer and it is wonderful to be working with local business Good Trip Clothing on some new and exclusive York-themed clothes, which are all ethically sourced and sustainably made. We’ve hand-picked a range of high-quality products which will be ideal gifts for Christmas, or as souvenirs for those who love York.”

Danny Sullivan, Owner of Good Trip Clothing said, “It’s been great to partner with Visit York on this new range for their online shop – particularly as we both share the same goals to change how people perceive souvenir clothing and offer high quality sustainable products to our customers. The new hoodies and sweatshirts created for Visit York customers are made from organic cotton and high grade polyester which has been recycled from plastic bottles –  and we are incredibly proud of the quality of these products.”

The shop is now live on the Visit York website here: shop.visityork.org.  

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.

One of Make It York’s strategic aims is to promote York as a brilliant place to do business, helping to support business growth and innovation across a range of business sectors, such as financial & professional services, rail and high value manufacturing and to stimulate greater 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

Make It York Chair Greg Dyke backs York City Knights bid for Super League Status

York City Knight’s application to take the vacant 12th spot in the 2021 Betfred Super League competition has been backed by Greg Dyke, Chair of Make It York and Former Chairman of the Football Association. A letter of support has been sent to the Club along with a video message which was posted on the Make It York social channels today.

In the video, Greg emphasises how York City Knights is ‘true community club’ showcasing the values of Rugby League. Greg highlights what an opportunity it would be for the city, the club and the sport, if York City Knights were to get Super League status.

In a letter which was sent to the club last week, Greg further states: 

“York City Knights is a club with huge potential for growth, with almost 120 years of Rugby League history behind it. The recent success of the club has meant its crowds have increased from a few hundred to an average of 2300 in 2019. The club and its fans will provide a new demographic for the Super League and I have no doubt that York City Knights would offer huge benefits as the 12th team.

York City Knights can offer the top-class facilities required of a Super League status club. Their brand new home at the LNER Community Stadium is built for a team of the future, and will give York City Knights every opportunity for growth and development. I am not exaggerating when I say York City Knights has the potential to be one of the leading Rugby League teams in the country.  This would also be a major opportunity to have a professional team in York playing at an elite level.

In particular I would like to commend the far-reaching benefits of the club’s community engagement programme covering health, education and community partnerships. This only stands to grow with Super League status. The economic, wellbeing and health benefits – not only physical but for mental health as well – should not be underestimated, as sporting fans and communities face the impact and very difficult challenges that Covid-19 has brought.

York itself, as the home of this successful club, is an internationally renowned visitor and event location. In 2021 the city will be one of the host cities for the Rugby League World Cup, as one of 16 locations that will host the qualified nations as training and team base camps.  This demonstrates the confidence and support within the city to provide a world-class host experience on the international playing field. York will also be hosting eight fixtures at the York City Knights home ground, all in the women’s tournament.

I believe the potential here is huge both for York City Knights and the future benefits for the Super League itself. The League would be taking on a club and a city with an already established international brand, and I believe York, its residents and its businesses, will benefit from the wider impact of this sporting ambition.

I wish York City Knights every success with what I believe to be a strong, compelling and unrivalled application.”

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.

One of Make It York’s strategic aims is to promote York as a brilliant place to do business, helping to support business growth and innovation across a range of business sectors, such as financial & professional services, rail and high value manufacturing and to stimulate greater 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

Launch of York’s first Virtual Christmas Market

For the first time ever, York’s Christmas Market has gone virtual, with over fifty traders, craftspeople and local businesses getting involved to be a part of the online experience.  From festive foods and Christmas decorations, to handmade jewellery and candles, the virtual market has a wide variety of gift ideas, seasonal products and festive treats from some of York’s best local businesses and independent traders.

Launching on visityork.org today (12th November) the Virtual Christmas Market has been created by Make It York in response to the recent announcement that St Nicholas Fair had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The virtual event instead celebrates the outstanding diversity of local traders, retailers and businesses across the city, helping to bring the magic of St Nicholas Fair into homes across the country and offering 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.  

Businesses taking part this year include York Gin, The Grand York, Bradleys The Jewellers, JORVIK, The Chuckling Cheese Company, Ainsty Ales and The Hat Shop York – with more being added each day. ‘Visitors’ to the online market can purchase a wide variety of unique gifts to suit all tastes – from craft gins and homemade brownies, Viking drinking horns, handmade skin care products, stunning artwork and much more.  Continuing throughout the entire festive period until 4th January, the virtual market is now live for browsing here: https://www.visityork.org/whats-on/christmas/virtual-york-christmas-market.

Sean Bullick, Managing Director of Make It York, said:

“Our virtual Christmas Market – a York first – celebrates and promotes York’s diverse local traders, retailers and attractions, encouraging people to support local businesses with their Christmas shopping this year. With a wide variety of brilliant traders from the local area taking part and a huge array of unique and quirky gift ideas, the virtual ‘event’ offers a safe way for residents to support independent traders and businesses over the festive period.”

Emma Godivala, Director at York Gin, said:

“York Gin are delighted to be part of the virtual Christmas Market. It’s the perfect way for people to show their support for all our brilliant local businesses. During these strange times, our hearts have truly been warmed by the support of our local customers. And the virtual Christmas market gives everyone in the area the chance to get behind the local economy – and buy local.”

Kay Bradley, Owner of Bradley’s Jewellers York, said:

“We are delighted to be part of the York virtual Christmas Market this year as one of the city’s many independent retailers. During these challenging times, our family-owned and run jewellers rely on the support of the local community, as we work to continue bringing joy to our customers throughout the festive period. The virtual market is a great shared space for York’s shops to offer unique local products to customers from across the city and beyond, and it helps support the city’s economy when it is vitally important.”

Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning said:

“This year it’s even more important that residents support local businesses where they can. We can all play our part and think local when planning our Christmas shopping. Many of your favourite shops and services have moved their unique offerings online, so make sure you check their websites and social media accounts for ways to support them right now.

If we all continue to follow the guidance, and York’s infection rate continues to decline, we are hopeful that residents will be able to enjoy York’s magical Christmas atmosphere once restrictions are lifted.”

The launch of the virtual market coincides with the festive lights going up across the city today (12th November) – with York BID and Make It York partnering to transform the city with magical winter lights and create a wonderful festive atmosphere. York’s four historic bars; Micklegate, Bootham, Monkbar and Walmgate, the traditional gateways to the city since medieval times, will once again be illuminated with thousands of tiny twinkling white lights. York Minster and St Michael le Belfrey will also be lit up once again this year and beautiful Christmas trees will adorn St Helen’s Square, Parliament Street and Shambles Market.  For the first time, additional solar powered lights have also been added to the lighting scheme on streets which in previous years haven’t had any winter lights.  These lights, which have been coordinated in partnership between York BID and Make It York, will brighten the city throughout the Christmas period and create a wonderful festive atmosphere for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Andrew Lowson, Executive Director of York BID said:

“The winter lights are a much-loved feature of Christmas in York.  After such a challenging year it feels especially important to mark the festive season by bringing a bit of beauty and magic to the city, creating a special atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.”

A special live post this evening (12th November) on the Visit York’s social media channels will capture the magic of the switching on of the lights, with residents and visitors encouraged to share their own lights and Christmas decorations going up over the next few weeks using #LightUpYork, for a chance to be featured on the channels.

Sean Bullick continued:

“Whilst sadly due to the coronavirus pandemic we have been unable to hold a physical ‘light switch on’ event this year, we are still working with York BID to jointly fund this year’s winter lights across the city. From today York will be transformed with beautiful winter lights to give it a magical, festive ambience and instead of a light switch on event, we will be sharing content across our social media channels from tonight which captures the magic of the lights going on in the city this festive season. We are also inviting residents and local businesses to get involved by sharing their own Christmas lights and decorations going up using #LightUpYork as part of a wider seasonal campaign.”  

York’s first virtual market is now open here (until 4th January). Businesses who would like to take part can contact faye.davis@makeityork.com

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.

One of Make It York’s strategic aims is to promote York as a brilliant place to do business, helping to support business growth and innovation across a range of business sectors, such as financial & professional services, rail and high value manufacturing and to stimulate greater 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

Make It York: COVID-19 Update and Response to further Lockdown Measures

Following the latest Government advice and announcement of a second set of national lockdown restrictions relating to the global outbreak of COVID-19, Make It York will be implementing a number of measures to ensure the continued safety of our staff, residents, Shambles Market traders and visitors at this time and to comply with the latest advice given: 

  • The Visitor Information Centre will temporarily close from 5PM on Wednesday 4 November until further notice. An email service will still be available to customers via info@visityork.org and the visityork.org website will continue to be updated with the latest information.  We’ll also be promoting our York at Home hub featuring inspirational virtual, online and digital things we’ve got going on in York, to help people learn more about the city and virtually experience #YorkatHome, and our Food and Drink hub showcasing restaurants and venues offering takeaway orders and / or delivery.  Details on further activity will be made in the coming week.   
  • From Thursday 5 November Shambles Market will be open with traders of essential goods only until further notice.  All traders have been contacted by the team with further details and the york-markets@makeityork.com email will continue to be monitored during this time for any queries. A member of the Markets Team will also be on site when the market is open and trading. All the latest information on Shambles Market Traders will be updated here 
  • As previously, the Make It York team continue to work remotely.  The team are contactable by email and will continue to provide support to members and businesses across the city. All enquiries regarding the business support available can be emailed through to business@makeityork.com  and any Visit York membership queries can be sent to membership@makeityork.com.  

Sean Bullick, Managing Director at Make It York, said:

‘We understand these new measures bring further challenges and difficulties for many businesses across all sectors, and Make It York will continue its work with partners at City of York Council and York BID to provide the necessary support and guidance throughout this period of unprecedented uncertainty. 

We will keep updating the latest guidance outlining what measures are available to support public services, people and businesses through this further period of disruption caused by COVID-19 on our website at makeityork.com here and on visityork.org specifically for our Visit York members here.   

The Make It York team will continue to be in regular contact with our members, traders and other key stakeholders to provide ongoing updates as and when they become available.   

It is disappointing that we are moving back into implementing these tighter measures – however the safety of our staff, residents, visitors and traders is of paramount importance and it is crucial we all work together to support our local businesses so we can ensure York can build back better for the future.  We thank all our members, partners and traders in advance for their continued support and understanding once again during this challenging time.’ 

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. 

One of Make It York’s strategic aims is to promote York as a brilliant place to do business, helping to support business growth and innovation across a range of business sectors, such as financial & professional services, rail and high value manufacturing and to stimulate greater inward investment. 

For further information please contact: 

Katie Parsons – Corporate Communications Manager 
Email: Katie.Parsons@makeityork.com  

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

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

Shaping the renewal and recovery of the city’s future as the York Business Conference goes virtual for 2020

Economic recovery, resilience, the EU Exit and tourism recovery will set the agenda for this year’s York Business Conference on Monday 9 November, which will be kick-starting this year’s virtual York Business Week.  The week-long event is organised by Make It York and hosted in conjunction with City of York Council, York & North Yorkshire LEP, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Federation of Small Businesses, York BID, the University of York, York St John University and the York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.  

Greg Dyke, Chair of Make It York will welcome a series of expert speakers to the conference, sharing their timely insights and exploring how we can maximise York’s sector strengths in this period of revival and renewed focus. The Business Conference this year will be split into three main sessions: covering Economic Recovery and Resilience and the EU Exit over the morning sessions and a mini Tourism Conference for the afternoon, focused on the progress of the city’s tourism strategy and key milestones.  

Greg Dyke, Chair of Make It York, said: 

“I am delighted to be part of York Business Week in its 10th anniversary year. The programme for the week is very topical for this year, with York’s vibrant business community coming together to deliver a variety of excellent events throughout the week. 

We will be kicking off on Monday with a special virtual York Business Conference and I am looking forward to seeing many familiar and new faces. The day promises to be full of insightful presentations from expert speakers delving deeper into the ways to maximise York’s strengths and working closely to drive growth together and Build Back Better.” 

In session one, Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, will open the conference and share the challenges that the city faces in economic recovery. David A Kerfoot MBE DL, Chairman of York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership will examine the approach to recovery support and looking to the future.  Beckie Hart, Regional Director for Yorkshire and Humber from Confederation of British Industry (CBI) will be exploring what happens now for recovery. Jon Geldart, Director General of the Institute of Directors (IoD) will talk about what we do need to grow in the context of economic recovery and resilience.  The session will conclude with a panel discussion and an opportunity for questions. 

Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said: 

“I very much look forward to opening the conference and welcoming everyone to York’s first virtual Business Conference.  It is of course a significantly challenging period for city and our local business community, but there is also a considerable amount of work taking place to build back better form the pandemic.  Therefore, it is incredibly important that we can come together to share best practice and discuss how we can best drive recovery in the city.” 

Beckie Hart, Regional Director for Yorkshire and Humber from Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said: 

“I am looking forward to speaking at the virtual York Business Conference next month as part of the 10th anniversary York Business Week. In the current environment, it is more important than ever for York business community to come together and look at the future of our local economy and how we can drive the recovery forward.” 

Session two will be opened by Andrew DigwoodPresident of York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and Partner at Rollits LLP¸ with speakers tackling the topic of the looming EU Exit and what the impact will be for businesses in 2021 and beyond. Allie Reninson, Head of EU and Trade Policy for the Institute of Directors (IoD) will examine what is facing businesses, what they need to know and how they can prepare for life out of the EU. As a major global business with roots in York, Matt Beddoe, Head of Procurement at Nestle will share how they have prepared for the changes that may come. The session will again conclude with a panel discussion and an opportunity for questions. 

Andrew Digwood, President of York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and Partner at Rollits LLP, said: 

“I am delighted to be involved in the 10th York Business Week this year and am looking forward to opening the second session of the York Business Conference on Monday. As the UK is set to leave the EU single market in January 2021, many businesses are getting ready for the changes to come in the very near future. Working and sharing information together is the best way to prepare for and manage the impact of the EU Exit on businesses in all sectors of York’s business community. It promises to be an insightful and useful session and I look forward to this virtual event.” 

A hot topic of discussion, the afternoon session will focus on the future of the tourism sector with industry experts and organisations from across the city giving their insights on tourism recovery. Chaired by Cllr Darryl Smalley, the session will kick off with an update from Make It York on the tourism recovery marketing strategy and focus for activity in the run up to Christmas.  

Keynote speaker Signe Jungersted, CEO of Group NAO, will be joining the conference to deliver a session on ‘Coming out of the Crisis: What Now?’, with a focus on the future of tourism post covid-19. Delegates will also hear from VisitBritain with an update on their current marketing campaign ‘Escape the Everyday’ and national tourism insights, and Welcome to Yorkshire with their ‘A Yorkshire for All – a place to Visit, Live, Work & Study’ 2021 strategy update. 

Signe Jungersted, CEO of Group NAO said: 

“Tourism will return, but changed. Much like our destinations. We are not going back to normal, we are moving ahead to a new era – and the whole idea of building back better is about not awaiting what comes, but actively starting to shape and create it within our destinations. It’s tough, really tough. But there is no other way than through it, and so, the question is how and where we want to end up. I’m really looking forward to exploring these issues at York Business Week this year and discussing the future of the sector with businesses across York’s tourism industry.” 

The tourism session will close with a panel discussion and Q&A with organisations and businesses across the city on plans for tourism recovery, including York BID, Hospitality Association York, English Heritage, City of York Council and Make It York

The York Business Conference programme will also offer the first virtual networking opportunity of the week giving businesses the opportunity to connect with new and existing contacts across the city in an informal discussion-led early evening session. 

To make the week as accessible as possible to all businesses, all events within York Business Week, including the York Business Conference, this year will be free of charge. Topical seminars, thought-provoking workshop sessions, online networking opportunities and the city’s first virtual York Business Conference will offer something for all York businesses from sole traders to global businesses, opening up access to industry-leading insights from the comfort of their own offices or remote working spaces.  

York Business Week 2020 is sponsored by 11 Principal Partners: Ad:venture; Autohorn; BHP; York and North Yorkshire LEP; Garbutt + Elliott; Hentons; Langleys, University of York; York City Knights; York Data Services; and PIB Insurance Brokers. 

The conference takes place from 09:00 – 17:00 on Monday 9 November and is the first event of York Business Week 2020. To book tickets and for the full programme across the week visit www.yorkbusinessweek.co.uk. For the latest updates follow #YorkBizWeek20 on @makeityork Twitter. ENDS 


For further information please contact: 

Katie Parsons – Corporate Communications Manager  
Mobile: 07719 105 089 
Email: Katie.parsons@makeityork.com 

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

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