Culture in York

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York is a city where outstanding, renowned culture and heritage come together with a cutting-edge contemporary approach to creativity: reflecting the city’s rich history and its status as the UK’s first UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts. Home to a diverse music scene, a programme of major events and festivals, thriving grassroots initiatives, and major culture and heritage organisations, York is a city with culture at its heart.

York’s Creative Future, the York Culture Strategy 2020 – 25, is designed to make a measurable, positive difference to the people of York, regardless of age, background and postcode and to everyone who works, studies in, and visits York. Find out more.

York's Creative Future

York's Creative Future: York Culture Strategy, 2020 - 2025

York’s Creative Future places culture at the heart of activities from major capital developments, to residents’ wellbeing – and will work to ensure cultural entitlement for every child. 

Cultural Engagement, Participation and Relevance

In York, it is our ambition to make culture relevant and accessible to everybody in York, regardless of age, background or postcode.

Place-Making

Ensuring that culture is fully embedded into local investment and city planning developments, with the arts and heritage and cultural wellbeing integral to development processes.

Children and Young People

For children and young people, engaging with culture can be transformational – both for their own wellbeing and prospects, and for the society they’ll grow up in. 

Talent Development and Retention

York’s creative and cultural sectors will strengthen and diversify York’s economy: through universities and colleges providing clear routes to skilled employment, and creative workspaces attracting and retaining creative talent in the city

Culture and Wellbeing

It is our ambition that the city is recognised nationally for its innovative work in culture for health and wellbeing, which residents can benefit from throughout their lives.

York’s National and International Profile

Make It York ensures that the city is recognised globally as a brilliant place to be, and that York’s culture is at the heart of the celebration of this unique and vibrant city.

York: UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts

York’s rich history combines with our status as a UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts to act as a powerful catalyst to help grow York’s cultural and creative sectors.

Discover More of Our Work​

Visitor Economy

Leading on the city’s tourism strategy (as part of York’s wider economic strategy) under our Visit York brand.

City Centre

Keeping the city centre relevant and enticing by curating a high-profile calendar of city centre festivals, activities and events.

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