York UNESCO City of Media Arts

On 1 December 2014, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, designated York as a UNESCO City of Media Arts and the newest members of the Creative Cities Network.

For two millennia York has been the meeting point for the ideas and creativity of the world. Today, it is playing this role once more through digital innovation and media arts.

The bid was formally developed by York at Large, the city's cultural partnership, and supported by us. It followed a period of a consultation with the many cultural bodies and practitioners that form York's thriving Digital and Media Arts economy.

From our cultural heritage to our contemporary strengths and international potential, the bid recognised York's strong credentials for designation:

  • York is a hotbed of creative talent with world-class learning institutions
  • Creative Industries represent the fastest growing sector of York’s economy with over 250 creative media arts companies employing 3,000 people
  • York's culture is the North of England’s gateway for international markets
  • York's cultural experiences form an important part of everyday life with York labelled the 'City of Festivals'
  • York's world class heritage continues to be the centrepiece of its cultural offer, attracting over £7m visitors per annum with media arts the engine of its future interpretation
  • More than £100 million has been invested in media arts facilities and resources to support the sector by York’s two universities
  • Reinvigorate York, a £3.3m investment in York's public realm, is reimagining the city's streets and open spaces as places of consumption
  • York is as one of the UK’s first Super-Connected Cities and aims to be the most digitally connected city in Europe by 2015
  • Media Arts is a driving force of York's social innovation and is testament to the city’s inclusivity and diversity

You can read the full bid and letters of support online.

The new website for designation and its associated Twitter account (@cityofmediaarts) are maintained and updated by the bid team before the creation an a York City Of Media Arts Office.

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