So where is York heading post COVID

There are signs of life in some organisations in the City as they begin to address the harsh post COVID realities.

The Council has issued business recovery kits which may aid social distancing particularity in shops.

The move comes on the day when the Centre for City’s releases details of how the health crisis has impacted on visitor numbers to the City centre. Not surprisingly the profile has changed radically with those travelling from the suburbs (both as shoppers and workers) now in the majority.

This will come as no surprise as foreign tourist numbers are, and are likely to remain, negligible. The next three months will be crucial for many retail and tourist businesses in the City.

The City is middle ranking so far in how well is is recovering its high street “footfall” compared to other Cities. It has a recovery index of 24 compared to the least affected (Aldershot with a score of 57 and the worst Cardiff with 11).

But it is early days and a more general return to work next Monday will tell us more.

So what needs to be done?

Clearly York’s visitor economy is going to depend, at least in the short term, on people travelling to the City from within Yorkshire. They will need to feel safe if they are to be persuaded to come.

It is vitally important therefore that such large spaces as exist in the City centre are fully utilised.

We understated that there are events planned for Parliament Street but it is less clear what use it will be made of assets like the Museum Gardens, Deans Park and the Nave of the Minster. Indeed, imaginative programming at the Minster – which could safely accommodate over a thousand people during periods of poor weather – may be vitally important in any marketing strategy.

All could potentially accommodate Arts events while maintaining social distancing rules.

York Minster and Duncombe Place, York
Duncombe Place

The Council has already listed streets which will be pedestrianised.

Incredibly it failed to include Deangate, one of the widest streets in the City and which could – together with the Minster and Deans Park- provide an ideal events space. Events held there would complement those planned for the other side of the City to the benefit traders and attractions in the Stonegate neighbourhood.

In the longer term better use will need to be made of the river banks and the City Walls but, for a few weeks at least, the City will need to concentrate on promoting itself as a vibrant, safe and welcoming destination.

It is time now for Make it York, the Council , the theatres, museums, libraries and other organisations to publish their short and medium term regeneration proposals?

Deans Park reopens


From 10am today Dean’s Park will reopen in the heart of York. Please respect the guidelines currently in place across the country, protect yourselves & others where possible, and enjoy your visit

The Park will remain open 10am-6pm 7 days a week.

For the health and safety of others, the Minster reminds all visitors that ball games, smoking and dogs are not permitted in the park

York Minster remains closed but it is broadcasting services via You Tube and Zoom.

There is pressure now for the remaining closed central area park – Museum Gardens – also to reopen.

Open air cinema in Deans Park from 27th August

The country’s leading producer of open-air cinema, The Luna Cinema, is coming to Dean’s Park for the first time this summer. With the stunning Gothic cathedral and beautiful stained glass windows providing the ultimate backdrop, it will make for a fabulous night of cinema under the stars.

Monday 27 August (8.00pm – doors open 6.30pm)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (PG) 133mins 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the first prequel of a series of films based the book of the same title and is one of the companion books to J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

The movie is set in New York in 1926, seventy years before the Harry Potter series, and features Newton Scamander as a main character. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them tells us that Scamander had been travelling the world in research of magical creatures since 1918, culminating with the publication of his masterpiece in 1927.

To book tickets for Fantastic Beasts, click here

Tuesday 28 August (8.00pm – doors open 6.30pm)
The Greatest Showman (PG) 105mins 
Inspired by the imagination of P. T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business & tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

To book tickets for The Greatest Showman, click here

Wednesday 29 August
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (PG) 146mins (8.00pm – doors open 6.30pm)
Adaptation of the first of J.K. Rowling’s popular children’s novels about Harry Potter, a boy who learns on his eleventh birthday that he is the orphaned son of two powerful wizards and possesses unique magical powers of his own. He is summoned from his life as an unwanted child to become a student at Hogwarts, an English boarding school for wizards. There, he meets several friends who become his closest allies and help him discover the truth about his parents’ mysterious deaths.

To book tickets for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, click here

Thursday 30 August  SOLD OUT
The Greatest Showman (PG) 105mins 
Inspired by the imagination of P. T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business & tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

What’s on in York: Heart of Yorkshire Festival

MinsterYork Minster 

& Deans Park

4th Jul – 2nd Sep

9:00am – 10:00pm

Various Prices

Workshops, craft activities, bars and a cinema will take over Dean’s Park this summer for a very special festival hosted by York Minster.

There are activities for all ages and you are warmly invited to pop along to take part or to simply enjoy the space as always.

See for all up coming events.

Please download the brochure here.