We've been asking residents, visitors, businesses, students, and anyone with an opinion about York, to tell us what they think makes York special.
The York Narrative is a way of describing York, together with its surrounding neighbourhoods and communities. It aims to help partners and residents understand how we can better present ourselves to local, regional and national partners and prepare for future funding opportunities whilst also identifying the values the city cherishes to inform future policy making.
The York Narrative aims to:
- attract investment
- attract visitors
- help rebalance the local economy
- enhance the regional, national and international perception of York
To do this we will:
- consult with residents, young people, communities and stakeholders through the Talk York consultation, to inform how we best promote our strengths and assets
- develop the York Narrative, promoting an authentic and joined-up story about York
- develop guidance to help organisations across the city embed this narrative
- engage partners throughout the development process
- hold a cultural event that promotes the narrative as part of York Mediale 2020 (see minutes from the Executive Decision Session, 25 January 2019)
- deliver inclusive growth programmes (see decision details for establishing the York Inclusive Growth Programme)
The York Narrative was formally adopted by our Executive on 28 November 2019 (see the agenda for the Executive meeting on 28 November 2019).
A toolbox and guidance, including all the research and datasets, is being built and will be ready in Spring 2020. In the meantime, our better decision-making tool will trial how the narrative can inform council policy.
Talk York consultation
Thank you to everyone who took part in the Talk York consultation.
A range of consultation activities took place during July and September 2019 to develop and test the proposed narrative.
An online and location-based consultation took place in June and July. 2,638 people completed the survey, of which 1,543 were residents.
48 stakeholders were interviewed and 22 small sector focus groups were held. The resident consultation was inclusive and actively reached out to communities who traditionally did not engage in council consultations.
- provided around 2,500 comments on consultation boards at locations across the city
- completed 80 mini-survey postcards
- attended workshops and a masterclass
Throughout September and October, we tested the proposed narrative with community groups, residents and groups of young people. In addition, we tested it through workshops with stakeholders and partners. This helped us to further refine and validate the narrative. In addition, the feedback from young people, community groups and residents helped inform our approach to implementation.
Background to the York Narrative and Talk York
York has recently won awards from The Sunday Times who voted it 'best place to live' in the UK in 2018, and 'best place to live' in the North and North East of England in 2019.
On top of this, York boasts UNESCO 'City of Media Arts' status, being the UK's first 'gigabit city', a Condé Nast 'best city architecture, 2018' award, best Christmas market in the UK, and 'Britain's favourite city' (YouGov).
However, York has a challenging local economy:
- even though residents are highly educated, weekly wages in the city are below average
- young people and key workers often struggle to afford to live in the city
- there are high levels of employment in the hospitality, retail and health and social care sectors, which pay less than the national average wage
By changing the way we talk about York, we hope to start to rebalance the local economy, by attracting further inward investment and increase pride in the city.
Talk York partners
We're working with partners as part of the Talk York project, including:
- Askham Bryan College
- Ebor Academy
- Hiscox UK
- Innovation Space
- Joseph Rowntree Foundation
- Make it York
- Manor Church of England Academy
- Media Arts Guild
- Nestlé UK
- NHS Vale of York
- North Yorkshire County Council
- Pathfinder Academy Trust
- University of York
- West Yorkshire Combined Authority
- York and East Riding LEP
- York BID
- York College
- York CVS
- York Chamber of Commerce
- York Civic Trust
- York Conservation Trust
- York Cultural Leaders Group
- York Mediale
- York NHS Hospitals
- York Racecourse
- York St John University