Make It York News

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 and the 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 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  and any Visit York membership queries can be sent to  

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 here and on 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.’ 


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 

Amy Goodman – Consumer Communications Manager 

Ana Ignatova – Communications Executive 

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

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 For the latest updates follow #YorkBizWeek20 on @makeityork Twitter. ENDS 

For further information please contact: 

Katie Parsons – Corporate Communications Manager  
Mobile: 07719 105 089 

Ana Ignatova – Communications Executive 

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

Further programme details announced for York Business Week 2020

9 – 13 November 2020

With two weeks to go, businesses across York are being encouraged to book their tickets for York Business Week 2020, as further events have been added to the topically insightful programme which aims to inspire the city’s businesses to Build Back Better.  

Organised by Make It York and hosted in conjunction with City of York Council, Federation of Small Businesses, the Institute of Directors, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, the University of York, the York BID, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and York St John University, the week-long programme will address key topics including economic recovery, the EU Exit, Skills and Business Growth, Wellbeing in the workplace, Leadership, Innovation and an opportunity to hear more about plans to use the York Narrative to reimagine York in 2030, shaping York’s 10 Year City Plan.  

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

“We’re encouraging as many businesses as possible to sign up and join us for what will be a ground-breaking virtual York Business Week this year. We have an exciting and very topical programme of events covering the key issues and challenges facing businesses at this time, all of which can be accessed easily online. 

York’s key business sectors bring real strengths to the table and we’re positive about how we can work together to drive growth for the future. We have a host of local, regional, national and international speakers who will offer inspiration and support to businesses as York looks to build back better.” 

Monday’s York Business Conference will be delivered in three distinct sessions, bringing together local, regional, national and international speakers and businesses to cover the topics of Economic Recovery and Resilience, the impending EU Exit and a mini Tourism Conference which focuses on the future of the tourism sector with industry experts and organisations from across the city giving their insights on tourism recovery. 

Added to Tuesday’s programme, the York Business Week Talent & Skills Webinar, run by City of York Council in partnership with York’s training providers, York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and key stakeholders, will bring businesses a morning of valuable information to help guide and support them to develop their workforce. Impactus Group will also be offering an interactive webinar Sales Re-imagined: The Changing Face of Sales giving businesses tips, shortcuts and ideas on how to get their sales back on track, whatever the sales landscape may look like in 2021. The National STEM Learning Network will also be hosting a panel event which discusses how we all have a part to play to build the future talent pipeline.  These events add to the start-up seminars delivered by AD:VENTURE will focus on the Early Stage of developing your business, Investment and Growth.  

Wellbeing Wednesday will be getting its groove on as Supersonic Fitness has added to the programme with a session exploring how physical movement can impact your wellbeing and mental health. This will be running alongside sessions good habits for working remotely from Pro Development, 10 keys to Mental Wellbeing from York Mind, and HR in Lockdown from Langleys Solicitors LLP.  

Thursday will attract professionals from all stages of their business development journeys, from those just starting up right through to established and successful business owners. Delivered by the York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub, four half-hour training sessions will provide hints and tips as well as cover the fundamentals of starting up and running a company, with advice from business professionals. 

Friday will play host to an event from City of York Council titled 10 Year City Plan – reimagining York 2030 which will be a two hour session exploring how the York Narrative will play a role in shaping the city’s future. Langleys Solicitors will also be offering a Back to Business session, sharing exclusive highlights from brand new research into how business in Yorkshire fared during lockdown, the lasting impact of the pandemic and how it has impacted planning for the future, particularly around the EU Exit. 

Business member organisations York Professionals and the Federation for Small Businesses (FSB) have added their own networking events to the Business Week calendar. York Professionals members will be able to hear more about access to funding on Wednesday and FSB members will be welcoming their newest members as well as the opportunity to hear more about the local economic strategy on Thursday. 

The Institute of Directors is a key partner for the first time this year and speakers for the Monday’s York Business Conference will include Director General Jon Geldart and Head of EU & Trade Policy Allie Reninson. In addition, the IOD are hosting a networking event “IOD Meet-Up” on the Wednesday evening.  

Nick Bradley, IOD Ambassador for York said:

“We are delighted to partner with York Business Week and to join a number of the events during the week. We continue to lobby Government both centrally and locally to support businesses build back better”. 

Tickets are available to book for York Business Week 2020 on For the latest updates, follow #YorkBizWeek20 on @makeityork Twitter. ENDS 

For further information please contact: 

Katie Parsons – Corporate Communications Manager  
Mobile: 07719 105 089 

Ana Ignatova – Communications Executive 

Notes to Editor 

Our Principal Partners for York Business Week 2020 include: 

  • BHP 
  • Garbutt & Elliott 
  • York Data Services 
  • University of York 
  • York City Knights  
  • AD:Venture  
  • Langleys Solicitors LLP 
  • York and North Yorkshire LEP 
  • Autohorn Fleet Services 

Further programme details announced for York Business Week 2020 Read More »

Lego Grand Central train on track to greet half-term visitors to York

The train now arriving at York Visitor Information Centre is the centrepiece of a new partnership between Make It York and rail operator Grand Central.

The four-metre Lego model made the short journey from Grand Central’s Rougier Street head quarters on Thursday, and is now in place to welcome visitors over half term and Christmas.

Grand Central managing Director, Richard McClean said: “It’s not often we take this particular train out for a spin but when Visit York got in touch to ask if the model could take pride-of-place in the Visitor Information Centre we were more than happy to wave it off.

“While it makes a fantastic attraction for Visit York, it also serves as a reminder that both Grand Central and York’s huge range of attractions are open for business and welcoming responsible visitors.”

Russell McCartney, Head of Commercial at Make It York, said: “We are really excited that our Visitor Information Centre is now home to this wonderful 13ft-long Grand Central Lego train. The model is an impressive sight and it looks great on display for residents and visitors to come in and enjoy over the next few months.” 

The reproduction of the Class 180 Adelante  is the work of professional Lego model builder Simon Mayes, director of Brick This.  It is made of around 30,000 bricks and includes a full internal lighting system throughout the carriages.

To coincide with the train’s move to its temporary new home, Grand Central, Visit York (a part of Make It York) and the Judge’s Lodging hotel in Lendal have launched a half term competition to win a family stay in York, including travel, accommodation and York Passes

To coincide with the train’s move to its temporary new, Grand Central, Visit York and the Judges Lodging hotel in Lendal have launched a half term competition to win a family stay in York including travel and accommodation.

The competition can be found on Grand Central’s Facebook page at


Lego Grand Central train on track to greet half-term visitors to York Read More »

Rugby League World Cup 2021 One Year Countdown – York Minster Lit Up in Celebration & Public Ticket Ballot Opens

  • The biggest, best and most inclusive Rugby League World Cup to date is just one year away and to mark the date York Minster has been in illuminated in RLWC Purple
  • York will be hosting eight fixtures at the LNER Community Stadium, all in the women’s tournament, starting off with New Zealand vs France
  • Public ticket ballot is now open to fans and live sport enthusiasts and will remain open for applications until 16 November 2020 at 20:21. Applications can be made via:
  • To celebrate the one year to go milestone, RLWC2021 organisers have released “The Power of Together” declaration by Manchester poet Tony Walsh, aka Longfella

With exactly one year to go, York Minster is to be lit up purple today to celebrate the Rugby League World Cup 2021 coming to the city.

World renowned poet and proud Northerner Tony Walsh has today also captured the passion, excitement and community pride that epitomises the unique and inclusive spirit of the Rugby League World Cup 2021. The poem, The Power of Together, is a rallying call from Manchester-born Walsh, also known as Longfella, for communities across the country to play their part in supporting the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup in history.

As the public ticket ballot opens and the tournament comes into sight, Walsh urges fans to not miss out and play their part in making the tournament one to remember – “Help us bring it, help us sing it; help us make the planet tremble, The Rugby League World Cup is coming. Squads assemble!”

The public ticket ballot – the first in Rugby League World Cup history – opened at 9:00 23 October 2020 (today) and will remain open for applications until 16 November 2020 at 20:21. Fans will be able to apply for tickets for each of the 61 matches across all three tournaments, with tickets in each price band at every game available, including the eight fixtures in York.  

Following the unprecedented demand during the Rugby League family priority access sale, fans are encouraged to apply for a wide selection of matches or use the Powerplay option* to have a better chance of seeing their favourite team play during RLWC2021.

Fans are reminded that the public ticket ballot will be the last opportunity to buy a ticket to the tournament at 2020 promotional rates, ticket prices will increase from 1 January 2021.  To apply for tickets in the Public Ticket Ballot, applicants must register an account via the official Rugby League World Cup 2021 Ticketing website, which can be accessed via

York will play host to eight fixtures when RLWC2021 comes to England next year, as well as acting as the training base for New Zealand’s men and women’s team, as well as the women’s sides from Australia, France and Cook Islands.

Jon Dutton, RLWC2021 CEO, said today: “We are thrilled that a figure such as Tony who, like Rugby League, is a huge part of Northern culture has helped us mark a year to go to the tournament with this iconic poem and video – filmed at the RLWC2021 tournament final venue – Old Trafford, Manchester.

‘’Tony captures everything that is great about our game and the tournament, particularly the special way it is woven into the fabric of the North of England and the positive social impact the tournament is delivering.”

“23 October is a day we have all been looking forward to as the one-year countdown begins to the opening match in Newcastle between England and Samoa in 2021. But also, today is a landmark moment not just for the tournament but also the sport of Rugby League as we have the opportunity to welcome many potential future Rugby League fans to the sport through the Public Ticket ballot.”

Dutton added: “The ballot provides a brilliant chance for anybody who wants to attend RLWC2021 and watch the most exciting and competitive Rugby League available and be part of sporting history next autumn.”

“York has a big part to play in next years’ tournament, and with just one year to go, we can feel the excitement and tension mounting as the world’s best will be coming to York.”

“England has a rich history of staging great global sporting events with phenomenal public support. We know the Rugby League World Cup 2021 will be no different and fans will turn out in record numbers to support the event.”

Manchester poet Tony Walsh, aka Longfella, added: “Themes like passion and a sense of community are often features of my poetry and few sports can rival Rugby League for these things. So the invitation to capture the spirit of the game and to help build excitement for a world class sporting event, right here on our doorsteps, was one that I couldn’t resist. Sport has a unique capacity to unite and inspire us and we need that more than ever in these most challenging of times. 12 months to go. “Squads assemble!”

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, Make It York, York St John University, GLL, York City Knights, University of York and Queen Ethelberga’s – with the games set to be held at the new LNER community stadium next year.

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council said: “We are proud to be a host city for next year’s Rugby League World Cup. Thank you to everyone who has supported the event so far. Next year, York will play a key role in the event hosting inspiring athletes and two women’s world cup semi-finals at the LNER Community Stadium. We can’t wait to welcome the world’s best to York as the city hosts another top-class cultural event.”

Sean Bullick, Managing Director, Make It York said: “We can’t wait for York to host the Rugby League World Cup next year and welcome fans and players from across the globe to our city. The countdown really is on now with one year to go for this fantastic event, which will showcase York on the international stage. We are delighted to be working with the Rugby League World Cup team and organisations across York to ensure the event is an incredible city-wide celebration residents and visitors can enjoy. “

Jon Flatman, Chairman, York City Knights said
: “This is another key milestone on the road to the Rugby League World Cup coming to York and we are hugely excited to celebrate this one year to go mark. The event is fantastic for the city and we are looking forward to working with partners to ensure a long-lasting legacy across the community and for sport in York. We can’t wait to play host to some of the most amazing sporting talent in the game and to welcome fans to our city to enjoy this incredible tournament!” 

* Should you miss out on tickets when your match ballot is drawn, ‘Powerplay’ automatically puts you into the ballot for tickets to the same match but in the next price category up. RLWC2021 will run the lowest priced ballots first so if you use Powerplay, your original choice will always be given priority.


For more information please contact:

Amy Goodman – Consumer Communications Manager

Ana Ignatova – Communications Executive


For more information about the RLWC2021 please contact Michael Gibson, Communications and PR Lead at RLWC2021 on or 07435556074

Notes to editors


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.

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

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

Rugby League World Cup 2021 One Year Countdown – York Minster Lit Up in Celebration & Public Ticket Ballot Opens Read More »

York’s Tourism, Hospitality and Retail Sectors Work Together to keep the City Safe

Following the news last week that York has been placed at the high level (tier 2) of the government’s new three-tier restriction system, York’s retail, hospitality and tourism businesses are working with Make It York and City of York Council to ensure the city remains safe for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Working closely together, organisations including York BID, Indie York, Hospitality Association York (HAY) and York Retail Forum are continuing to promote the city safely and support York’s diverse and vibrant local business community.

With robust safety measures in place across the city, York’s attractions, shops, restaurants, pubs and hotels are going above and beyond to ensure the city continues to be safe. From the ‘We’re Good to Go’ accreditation at 169 venues across the city which demonstrates the high-standard safety measures in place – to the implementation of ‘Track & Trace’ systems and enhanced cleaning processes, York’s businesses have worked incredibly hard over the last few months to create controlled safe spaces for residents and visitors to enjoy safely.

Sean Bullick, Managing Director of Make It York said, “”It continues to be a challenging time for York’s tourism, hospitality and retail sectors, and now, more than ever before, it’s crucial that we support our local York businesses – shopping local with independent traders, retailers and restauranteurs and working collaboratively to ensure York remains a safe space for all. 

“At Make It York our teams are working very hard to support and promote the city’s tourism, hospitality and retail businesses: from implementing the tourism marketing recovery strategy alongside City of York Council, to ensuring Shambles Market has robust safety measures in place, to working with individual businesses to provide business support and advice on access to funding.  We’re also developing plans for a safe, warm and welcoming Christmas in York for our residents and people who can safely visit the city.

“Our beautiful city has so much to offer, and by pulling together and supporting one another we can ensure it remains a safe space for people to enjoy, with all the special and remarkable places open that make York York.” 

City of York Council have been working with partners and businesses across the city to promote safety best practice – including encouraging everyone to adopt the ‘Hands Face Space’ guidelines: wash hands regularly, wear a mask indoors and adhere to social distancing with those not in your household. 

Cllr Darryl Smalley, Executive Member of Culture, Leisure and Communities at City of York Council said,  “Whilst the new Tier 2 measures mean that mixing indoors is currently restricted, there are still many ways that residents and visitors can relax and enjoy the city’s unique offer – including work being done by the businesses, the Council, York BID and Make It York to look at creating new safe outdoor spaces in the city centre, with details to be announced shortly.

“Despite this year’s significant challenges, York has demonstrated what it does best − pulling together and supporting each other. None of this would have been possible without the support and commitment of our brilliant publically-spirited businesses who have pulled together to make sure the city remains a safe and enjoyable place to visit.”

Sharon Stoltz, Director of Public Health at City of York Council said,  “Thanks to all the businesses and people who have done so much throughout this pandemic. We all have a role to play in stopping the spread of the virus and it is as important as ever that we continue to look after ourselves and each other.

“Washing our hands, wearing a face covering in busy public spaces and keeping a safe distance from those you don’t live with remain our best defence against the virus. Self-isolating if asked to do so by test and trace or if you have symptoms of Coronavirus is also crucial. When supporting our fantastic local businesses please practice Hands Face Space, as we all work collectively to slow the spread of the virus.”

Andrew Lowson, Executive Director of York BID said, ““While York’s businesses are resilient and adaptable, they still need support from the local community. There are many hospitality businesses with outdoor spaces that can still be enjoyed with friends, and we are looking to utilise public domain space to add to this in the coming weeks. York’s businesses continue to rise the challenge of providing a safe and secure environment to carry out shopping and leisure activities, and we are committed to assisting businesses with our cleaning teams, our Street Rangers, and providing hand sanitiser across the city centre.”

Martin Bradnam, Chair of York’s Hospitality Association said, “Hospitality is a key sector, employing many local people.  The epidemic has hit hospitality businesses hard, with many companies now having to make redundancies and difficult decisions.  If ever there was a time to ask for local support it is now.

“The hotel sector has really bought into and invested into providing a clean and safe environment for our guests, workforce and suppliers.  The feedback from guests has been really positive.  Demand for staycations returned quickly to York following the last close down, which demonstrates the want for visitors to spend time in our vibrant city.  We respect and are invested in the approach to recovery not only for our industry, but for all stakeholders in York. “

From all organisations and businesses across the city, the clear message is a need to ‘shop local’ and support independent businesses in the city through these difficult times.

Phil Pinder, Chair of York Retail Forum said, “The shops in York have implemented procedures to keep you safe in store, from the big High Street names down to little independents. York is still an unrivalled City for shopping with a healthy mix of High Street names and very heavy mix of indie stores filling all the gaps in between. There is no better place for shopping and working together we will keep your safety our top priority.

While restrictions have been imposed on household mixing, retail in York has not been the cause of any outbreak and we will continue to play our part in offering our unique mix of retail in the safest possible way for all to enjoy.”

Residents and visitors are encouraged to get involved in activity such as Indie York’s Medieval and Magical Treasure Trail which takes place between October 24th and November 1st, to promote the city’s independent businesses and highlight medieval and historical attractions in the city and local areas.

Johnny Hayes, Chairman of Indie York said, “” York has a very strong independent sector with 65% of the City’s businesses being independently run. But the present situation makes it very difficult for these businesses. It is very important that we all work together during this new phase of the global pandemic. We need to work with City of York Council, Make it York and York BID and other agencies to do our utmost to keep our City thriving and our independent business able to keep going during these difficult times. 

Our Medieval and Magical treasure trail during the half term holiday from 24th October to the 1st of November is a collective attempt to attract lots of local families and visitors to a safe event that we hope will support our independents in the City.”

Download the Indie York Medieval and Magical Treasure Trail here.

For more information about experiencing York safely go to:


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

Ana Ignatova – Communications Executive


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A plan to reshape our economy for a greener, fairer, stronger future

Make It York has been working in collaboration with the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), all of our region’s local authorities and partner organisations region-wide to develop a plan to reshape the region’s economy in order to address the challenges and opportunities arising from the pandemic. Our shared vision is that the region will emerge greener, fairer and stronger as a direct result of the economic reshaping plan.

The plan for reshaping the economy lines up with the current government agenda, to protect jobs and develop opportunity for higher skills, yet will tailor this agenda to the local needs of York, whilst strengthening our collective ambition for York and North Yorkshire to become a carbon negative economy. The plan follows on from the immediate COVID response and aims to address the economic challenges businesses are continuing to face as well as focusing on stimulating growth over the next 18 to 24 months, accelerating a transition towards a carbon negative economy.

David Kerfoot MBE DL, the LEP’s Chair said; “This plan, brought together through meaningful and effective collaboration, will focus on stimulating growth over the next 18 to 24 months and lay the ground to make the most of whatever comes next. Our partners and all local authorities across the region have worked incredibly hard to shore up our economy through the crisis of the pandemic. Working together, we can reshape the economy, come through the crisis together and drive growth that will make York and North Yorkshire a greener, fairer and stronger place.”

Sean Bullick, Managing Director of Make It York, said ‘Our top priorities are promoting York, improving economic prosperity within the city, and increasing the wider wellbeing of our population.  We are fully supportive of York & North Yorkshire LEP’s Ten Pledges which will together reshape our economy, in both the short and the longer-terms, focussing as they do on supporting local businesses, rebuilding tourism, and continuing to attract investment to the region.’

The LEP is hosting a ten day collaborative campaign that will highlight the 10 pledges of the plan to reshape our economy. The campaign will highlight regional voices of leadership and give local examples of work already in action to reshape our economy to be greener, fairer and stronger.

Read about the pledge stories on the LEP’s news page here.

Read the full Plan to Reshape our Economy here.

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