Tour de France updates

Community artwork of the ‘Road Through York’ to celebrate the Tour de France

Residents with an eye for the bigger picture are invited to book to join in the  community painting collaboration called the “Road Through York”. The project aims to create an enormous painting in which hundreds of local people have had a hand and which “will help welcome the Tour de France to York”.


A painting by local artist and art tutor Karen Winship features York landmarks and will be scaled up and broken down into 320 panels. Each metre-squared panel will be painted by individuals joining in the project, who will see their work laid out when the completed montage, totalling 320 square metres, is exhibited on the Knavesmire on 6 July for the aerial cameras to film and relay to the world.

Any individual or any organisation who wants to join in and make its mark on the Road Through York must email or call 07990 774 420 to secure a place at a number of painting day s organised throughout the coming weeks. Find out more at .

Information Meetings

In the face of bitter opposition from local residents the Council is now saying that  the proposed spectator hub will “be sited at the northern end of the Monk stray near to the A64, away from the majority of residents, with access from Malton Road. It will have a temporary infrastructure of toilet, washing and water facilities and it’s likely to have a food tent offering breakfasts and camping supplies.”

On Thursday 10 April, from 5.30pm at the Rowntree Park Reading Café, there will be a second dedicated TdF information meeting. There, people can expect to find out more about routes and traffic management, about camping and caravanning, plus information on the cultural festival called York: Be Part of It, and plans for the exciting spectator hubs where people can enjoy the celebrations.


Win a chance to Experience the Race in York!

City of York Council is giving cycling fans across the globe the chance to experience Stage 2 of the 2014 Le Grand Depart in style if they win a once in a lifetime prize worth £400.

The lucky winner will receive a two night luxury glamping experience for two people, two tickets to the start at York Racecourse, a selection of Experience the Race merchandise and £50 to spend in York Designer Outlet.


Bounce back into sport this Spring

Tennis and golf balls are set to fly this Spring as York residents are invited to take to the courts and courses with new sessions organised by City of York Council.

The council-owned tennis courts at Hull Road Park and Pike Hills Golf Course are the latest venues to hold sessions aimed at adults who are beginners to the sport or who may want to refresh their skills. This is the first time that these courses, starting in March, have taken place at these venues.


£1 million York cycling velodrome scheme set for approval tomorrow


The much delayed outdoor velodrome at the University of York is set to gain approval at a Planning meeting which is taking place tomorrow.

York Council taxpayers are contributing £200,000 towards the project which is described in Council budget papers as a “closed cycle circuit”.

The application is for the construction of a 250m-long, 7m-wide, tarmac surfaced, outdoor “velodrome”.

The track would be oval-shaped and banked at each end. The base of the track and the central oval would be at existing ground level.

The banking at each end would rise to 4m above existing ground level and have a gradient of approximately 18%. The track profile would be achieved by creating earth banking to support the track.

The bank would be topped by a 2m-wide footpath for spectator viewing. A handrail and fence along the top of the bank would provide protection for spectators.

The centre of the oval would be partly hard surfaced and partly grassed.

Monk Stray campsite licence application details published

The Council has now published the application that it has made (to itself) for a premises license for the use of Monk Stray.

There are no restrictions on the duration of the license which would allow plays, films, live music (till midnight), recorded music, performance of dance and “anything similar” together with the supply of alcohol for on and off site sales (until 2300 hours)

The application can be read here

Residents have until 24th February to submit any objections.

The Council have so far failed to explain why the event could not have been accommodated on the Knavesmire.

Larger events, such as Royal Ascot at York and a visit by the Pope, have been accommodated there without major difficulties.

Tour caravan woe for Monk Stray?

Caravan and camping site planned

Monk Stray

Monk Stray

It appears that the York Council are going to approve the use of Monk Stray as a huge camping and caravan site to service the needs of Tour de France visitors.

Although there has been no consultation with local Councillors or residents, notices posted in the area suggest that the facility will be open for around a month.

The actual TdF start event in the City lasts only 2 days.

Most had expected camping facilities to be located closer to the Knavesmire where the start takes place.

Meanwhile the Council is remaining tight lipped on how it proposes to recoup at least some of the £1.6 million that it is putting into the event. At the last Council meeting, details were promised in “January” but they have not emerged.

The York Council taxpayers subsidy is the largest agreed by any Local Authority in the region.

The official Tour web site is markedly silent on issues like car parking and sponsorship.

Eng-AGE in some fun and fitness at Energise

York’s over-50s can get into gear for the very popular third Eng-AGE 50+ Activity Day which will take place on Monday 17 February from 9.30am to 4pm at Energise.

Energise gym

The day is the first big sport and activity event of the 2014 health and fitness calendar, in a year when York residents are being encouraged and inspired by the Tour de France to do more physical activity.

With the Tour de France setting off from York on 6 July it’s only right that this year we have included some bicycle related activities for the over 50s such as beginners spin classes, cycle maintenance and cycle training. This is a great opportunity to try some activities, meet new people, have fun and become fitter all at the same time!  (more…)

York Community Stadium size shock

The Councils Cabinet is to consider an update on the much delayed Community Stadium at its meeting on 7th January.

The Council is seeking an operator who will design, build, operate and maintain the stadium. They will also manage and maintain the Councils other Leisure facilities such as the successful Energise sports centre on Cornlands Road.

Given the Council somewhat varied track record on Leisure centre management (the Barbican was costing taxpayers £800,000 a year until it was privatised), the Council is probably correct to seek a professional organisation to manage the Stadium.

Athletics layout - Heslington West click for original

Athletics layout – Heslington West click for original

Discussions with 2 preferred bidders are expected to continue until March. Their plans will be kept secret until later in the year.

The Council says that “All submissions were able to meet the basic minimum criteria set of 6,000 capacity all-seat stadium, community hub within the financial parameters of the project”

However designing the stadium so that it can be expanded in capacity later is described as having “major cost implications” and it seems that the initial capacity may be increased to over 6000 with “some terraced standing space”.

That is likely to please many football supporters but it would be at the expense of later expansion capability.

It seem likely now that a stadium with a capacity of 7000 will be provided but with the capability of expansion to 10,000 only if Championship (or Super League) promotion is achieved.

The report confirms that the costs of running the stadium will be covered “through a mix of the rentals from the sports clubs, the community hub tenants and other commercial income streams brought forward by each bidder. This will include full maintenance and lifecycle costs as part of a 13 year operational contract”.

The Council are now talking about opening the stadium in spring 2016.

Final Tenders

May 2014

Planning   & Project Agreement Live

January   2015

Work starts on site

February   2015

Stadium Opens

February / March 2016

The £2 million athletics facility at Heslington West is expected to be opened in September 2014. A copy of the design specification for the athletics facility can be viewed here.

The Cabinet report includes a list of the risk factors that must be addressed. Not least amongst these is the need to meet the requirements of the Football Foundation who loaned York City £2 million in 2005.