Make It York Recovery Planning

At Make It York, our number one objective at the moment is to support York’s businesses and the recovery of the city’s economy during the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

As a destination management organisation, everything we do is aimed to support York’s economic prosperity and the wider wellbeing of our people. An integral part of our recovery planning is working very closely with local businesses to understand key concerns, provide business support and advice, and identify opportunities for growth as we move forward. 

All our work is in line with Government guidance and we work closely with City of York Council and York BID to deliver business support and advice.

Working together

Alongside City of York Council, York BID, Federation of Small Businesses, York & North Yorkshire Chamber Of Commerce and the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, we are currently running a series of virtual roundtables for businesses to come together to share sector specific intelligence and challenges. This intelligence is already helping to inform the development of the city’s recovery plans.

The groups are expected to meet monthly and, as well as enabling peer to peer support, will facilitate the lobbying at regional and national level necessary to allow us to make the most of the opportunities for growth which will undoubtably arise from the crisis for a number of sectors. For a really valuable insight into this, you can watch the virtual conference ‘Roadmap to Recovery: York in a post-Covid world’ which we held on 2nd June in partnership with University of York as part of their Festival of Ideas:

Businesses who are interested in participating in the roundtable events can contact the Make It York Business team on   

Safety first

It is of paramount importance that visitors and residents know that they can return to York safely once the lockdown restrictions are lifted. Key to this is the practical safety measures that need to be implemented in order to help create the necessary consumer confidence and get the city’s tourism industry moving again. Detailed plans in this regard are being developed by CYC, York BID, with Make it York assisting with the public real elements. These plans are expected to be published in time for a 15th June wider retail opening date.

More specifically, while Shambles Market, which is run by Make it York, is currently open daily for fresh food traders, including fruit & vegetables, fish and meat, and with measures in place to aid social distancing – plans are underway to implement a number of new health and safety measures with the aim of allowing Shambles Market and Food Court to reopen from 15th June.

Following consultation with trader representatives, measures to be implemented include a one-way system and a re-configuration of the layout of the stalls to improve the flow of customers and minimise disruption to traders. Benches have been removed from the food court area and new signage and barriers will be introduced into the space to aid with social distancing. An external health and safety consultant has also been appointed to carry out a full risk assessment of the space and introduce guidelines for traders around social distancing and general best practice.

We are also going ahead with planning for St Nicholas’ Fair this year, dependent on lockdown restrictions being lifted, and our top priority is to ensure the event is safe and delivered in line with Government guidance. 

Visit York virtually

People might be staying in right now but they can still experience the very best of York without leaving their homes. We are ensuring digital and virtual engagement with the city’s attractions, cultural organisations, tours and festivals through the #YorkatHome hub on Visit York. This website hub showcases some of the inspirational virtual, online and digital things going on in York, to help people learn more about the city and virtually experience #YorkatHome. 

We are also promoting York’s local food and drink businesses with a dedicated Takeaway & Delivery page on, listing restaurants and cafes offering delivery services to all customers, here.

We have built an online hub for The Shambles Market traders offering delivery here – and we are currently creating a hub for our member retail businesses in the city who provide an online shopping facility, to help support their businesses. 

York is waiting for you

The first phase of our marketing communications has been to share business advice, information, guidance and available support, while keeping residents and visitors engaged with the city through our Visit York channels, the messaging that ‘York is waiting for you’ and our York at Home hub.

When lockdown restrictions ease and it is safe to do so, we will launch our new marketing campaign, to inspire, engage and bring people into York. This is planned for launch in the summer and will provide inspiration for visits post-lockdown, with the safety message and consumer confidence at its core.

We will be focusing on localhood, supporting local businesses, and promoting safe and responsible tourism. The campaign will appeal to both residents and visitors, and we will work with businesses across the city to showcase the fantastic experiences available and to keep York front of mind as a world-class destination. 

Who we are and what we do

At Make It York, everything we do is to support York’s economic prosperity and the wider wellbeing of our people. We’re a small yet agile organisation working together to promote York nationally and internationally, as a great place to live, visit, study, work and do business.

Working alongside partner organisations, including City of York Council and York BID, we work on business support in the city, inward investment and network building, we manage the Shambles Market and the city centre, implement the city’s Culture Strategy alongside York’s cultural organisations, and lead on place-based marketing.

Whilst Make It York are responsible for city centre footstreets, if you have any queries concerning other areas such as public toilets, street cleaning, security, bins or public transport, we always happy to help and signpost to the relevant organisation or department to speak to within City of York Council. Similarly, for the information about policies regarding the city walls and highways, please contact City of York Council, who lead on this for the city:

Contact the Make It York team by emailing

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