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Planning and building

My City Centre York Vision

An attractive city at all times

After listening to your views as a vital part of the My City Centre York project, the My City Centre York vision has now been approved.

Working patterns have changed dramatically through the coronavirus pandemic and have yet to settle, the absence of city workers has been felt keenly by businesses in the centre throughout this period, and many have adapted operating models in response - some permanently.

Daytime dining outdoors in York's city centre streets

The city has also traditionally been very busy at the weekend, with the behaviour of some visitors identified by some as stopping them using the centre at these times.

Our ambition is to manage the city better at these busy times, whilst encouraging residents and visitors to also visit in quieter periods through providing a family-friendly and welcoming environment with plenty to do.

The vision for creating an attractive city at all times

  • Supporting businesses and family-friendly activity in the early evening activity
  • Create a family friendly environment in the early evening, particularly midweek.
  • Support outdoor eating and café culture in the city centre
  • Manage and minimise issues created by the important night time economy, including through the securing of purple flag status

Potential changes to create an attractive city at all times

Some of the things that could change include:

Support the early evening economy

With more remote working, spend from workers at lunchtimes and early evening will reduce, and with the high street experience changing, more leisure based uses are being identified in the city.

We are keen to support both leisure and retail, to grow their offer in the early evening to provide a family-friendly and attractive offer for residents and visitors.

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Vibrant midweek early evening

Mid-week evenings have traditionally been a quieter time in York city centre, but present an opportunity to grow the centre’s provision with a range of activities, attractions, and a 'café culture' as part of a mixed-retail and leisure offer.

Projects which help deliver family friendly objectives would be particularly supported. Incentives for local residents on mid-week evenings could also be considered.

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Outdoor eating and drinking

The expansion of pavement cafés have been an essential part of the sector’s response to lockdown.

We want to look into developing a permanent approach to outdoor eating and 'café culture' which can create a vibrant atmosphere whilst recognising the need to ensure an accessible city centre.

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Night-time economy impacts

Many people provided feedback highlighting that the city centre can be unwelcoming at times in the night and on Saturday afternoons, as groups enjoy our bars and pubs.

As well as strengthening the work of multi-agency safety partnerships to address this concern, we will identify specific actions through the imminent purple flag status application, and focus our city tourism messaging on positive behaviours when visiting the city.

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My City Centre York

Delivering a new vision for York’s city centre

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA