New ‘art bench’ installations to provide additional seating in city centre

As part of the ongoing activity to ensure enjoyable and safe experiences for people coming into the city centre, Make It York has been working alongside York BID and City of York Council to introduce new temporary outdoor spaces across the city.  Over the last week colourful new bespoke seating pods have been installed on Parliament Street, with a series of fun benches which display artwork from local artists ‘Art of Protest Projects’. 

Working with York-based business THOR’S, the new Parliament Street seating pods have been designed to be beautiful and unique spots for residents and visitors to sit and enjoy their city experience.  Alongside the ‘Love York Tipi’ seating area, the colours and flowers used aim to create a place for ‘fun escapism’ in the city with art and photography provided by local artists ‘Art of Protest Projects’. The artwork is a ‘mountain scape’, designed to give a sense of peace and tranquillity in a bustling city and the photography takes in different views of York at its most serene. 

The seating has been designed to encourage people to ‘take a moment to enjoy our beautiful city’ – allowing people to safely see their friends and family and offer additional seating space to support nearby cafes, pubs and restaurants. The new seating pods will remain in place throughout the summer months.  

Also on Parliament Street, THOR’S have worked with Make It York and City of York Council to design, build and manage a covid-secure communal tipi seating area – offering extra space for nearby hospitality businesses. The space is fully managed, with regular cleaning and stewards on hand to ensure social distancing is in place.  The installation of temporary public toilets, additional litter bins and city centre cleaning has also been put in place to ensure the space is welcoming and safe for all to enjoy. 

Rachel Harvey Development Manager at Make It York said: “We are delighted to work with THOR’S Tipi on developing these additional new outdoor spaces which are a vibrant and fun addition to Parliament Street. The art benches are designed to give people the chance to sit and enjoy some fabulous local art whilst they relax and take a moment to enjoy our beautiful city. The new seating areas have all been created to support nearby businesses by providing additional spots for people to relax and safely enjoy their food and drink, and it’s been great to see how popular these have been with residents and visitors.”  

Amanda Monaghan, Director THOR’S tipi said: “We were delighted to work on this project. It’s been such a tough year for so many people and it’s the perfect antidote to see pops of colour throughout Parliament Street. We created the various seating styles to be beautiful, unique, practical and something the city can enjoy throughout the warmer months. We worked with Jeff and Brenna (from AOP Projects) to create the artwork and photography, with the theme ‘mindfulness in busy spaces’. We can’t wait to see people enjoying them.”  

Councillor Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning said: “We are delighted to have worked with partners York BID and Make it York to introduce new outdoor spaces and seating on Parliament Street. 

“We want to encourage people to enjoy the city centre safely.The seating pods will provide a number of picturesque, outdoor spots for residents and visitors to sit and relax safely. 

 “Residents and businesses have been terrific in helping to keep our city and each other safe, but it’s vital that we continue to take the next steps carefully. Residents are encouraged to get tested regularly and to continue to follow hands, face and space.” 

For more information about what is open in the city visit 


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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