City Centre

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Markets, commercial events and festivals are a key driver in the city’s reputation and engagement strategy. We have developed a thriving and evolving events strategy that spans culture, markets and business engagement and supports reputation, innovation and economic activation to the city’s streets.  


Make It York supports permanent and temporary markets, festivals, and delivers, attracts and facilitates world-class cultural and creative events that expand and positively enhance perceptions of York.

This includes, as examples, York’s status as a host city for the Rugby League World Cup and the expansion of our renowned York Ice Trail to become one of the UK’s largest outdoor events.

We also champion and support a range of independent festivals through our cultural work, such as York Mediale, Aesthetica Art Prize, York Festival of ideas, York Design Week and the York Early Music Festival, to name just a few flagship city events.

The city has a very special independent retail and hospitality sector and MIY is responsible for city centre management and the development of key areas of high public footfall, such as Shambles Market, which offers significant additional opportunities for development and expansion.  

Shambles Market

Christmas Market

Our Christmas Market is regularly cited as one of the best in the UK and we continue to develop and innovate a calendar of events for the city to ensure that we offer an inclusive and accessible range of events that inspire and excite diverse audiences all year round.

We want to encourage new retailers to trade and for landlords to be proud of their properties so that the city centre is somewhere for all residents and visitors to enjoy, whether working, shopping or relaxing.  

Make It York also focuses on providing a city-centre “stage” to support the delivery of a high-quality and high-profile cultural offering, harnessing the city’s unique and historic heritage with contemporary installations and performances that deliver a thriving programme across the year which also supports business growth and income generation.  

City-Centre “Stage”

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.


Ensuring that culture is relevant and accessible to everybody in York by placing culture at the heart of our activities.

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