Published Thursday, 17th January 2019

Exciting plans to create new cultural experiences for York residents will be considered by City of York Council’s Executive Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism next week (Friday 25 January).

The council has recently been successful with funding bids to the Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool, to create two programmes of cultural activity, which will in turn develop a new shared ‘vision’ for the city and support the development of the Castle Gateway area.

The first project, which has secured £100,000 of funding, aims to encourage investment in the city by promoting York’s strengths. Working with residents, the project will challenge people’s perceptions of modern York, helping to attract investment into the city and encourage more tourists to visit the city and stay longer.

The second project will support plans to transform the area around the Castle and Eye of York, creating a new public space for theatre productions, markets and cultural events. The proposals are closely linked to York Museums Trust’s plans to refurbish the Castle Museum and strengthen its links to the Castle Gateway area.

The project has two separate strands: the first to support the creation of a detailed design for the Castle Picadilly area; and the second to support events taking place in the Castle Gateway area in 2019, changing the public perception of the space from a car park to a cultural hub.

A total of £210,000 has been secured to support this project, which will be used to retain the Mediale Team, develop the Festival of the Rivers, and mitigate the potential loss of car park income from the site while it is being used for cultural events.

If agreed, the Mediale team will be asked to deliver four resident consultation events in 2019 in key locations across the city, including Castle Car Park, and target residents who do not traditionally engage in cultural or consultative events.

The team will also create a programme of community events on the car park to encourage residents to think about the future use of the site through innovative and inclusive events.

In addition, they will also be tasked with commissioning and developing event plans for the Castle Gateway site, as a headline project for Mediale 2020.

Under the proposals, the Festival of Rivers will also get a further funding boost of £20,000, delivering a five-day vibrant and inclusive art-based experience, promoting the positive use of the riverside in line with York’s new cultural strategy.

York may also be have the opportunity to put on major fireworks display, if the city accepts an offer by the municipality of Changsha, China (another UNESCO City of media Arts) to subsidise a display by £200,000.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “These projects give us a real opportunity to shape the city’s cultural offer for the next generation and ensure that York is recognised for its world-class cultural offer.”

Cllr Ian Gillies, Leader of City of York Council, said: “The successful funding bids will enable us to engage with residents in new and innovative ways through two new projects, harnessing their energy and experiences to re-shape the perception of not just the Castle Gateway area, but the city itself.”



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