York residents face price hike for entry to museums and art gallery

Angry mob - museums

A report to a leisure committee meeting taking place on 22nd June confirms that residents will pay for admission to the Art Gallery, and local museums like Castle, in future.

The Museums Trust is launching its own YMT card which will cost £22 a year.

This will offer unlimited access to York Castle Museum, the Yorkshire Museum & Gardens and the newly refurbished York Art Gallery for a year. The YMT Card saves £5 compared to buying individual day tickets for the three YMT charging venues.

It is clear that, if the Council want free entry for York Card holders to these venues, they will have to increase their subsidy to the Trust.

The move by the Trust is being viewed as retaliation for the decision taken by the former Labour controlled Council to cut its grant from £1.6 million to £600,000 pa.

Admissions to the two museums have remained fairly steady over the last 3 years with between 162,000 and 170m000 visitors being recorded each year.

New York athletics track opened

Over 100 members of the City of York Athletic Club (CYAC) took to the track last night for their first training session at York’s brand new athletics track.

The track has been developed by a partnership of University of York and City of York Council, who have worked together over the past 12 months. The track has been awarded a Class A certificate for a regional centre by UK Athletics.
Athletics track June 2015

The track, built at the University’s Heslington West campus, cost £2 million and was funded by both the council and university. The facility includes an 8 lane synthetic running track, a grass infield for field disciplines like javelin, hammer, discus and shot put and other synthetic areas for pole vault, highjump, long and triple jump. In autumn 2015 additional work will start on a new sports pavilion and covered seating for 500 spectators. In the meantime a temporary pavilion and stand are in place for the summer season. These first class facilities now provide York’s athletes the best possible opportunities to improve their sporting performances.

The facility is the new home for City of York Athletic Club and is also available for use by regional schools, local groups and athletes of all abilities.

Ayre to reconsider role as athletics coach

Ayre to reconsider role as athletics coach

Cllr Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism who was at the track for the session said:

“The opening of this brand new track will greatly improve athletics facilities in York. It has been made possible through strong local partnership work between the council, the University of York and City of York Athletic Club. I originally brought forward plans to fund and build a top-class athletics track at the University as the Executive Member in July 2010. I am therefore pleased that this vision has now been realised and athletes of all abilities can start to enjoy the new facilities.”

York Music Centre pupils enjoy regional success

Children and young people from City of York Council’s York Music Centre are celebrating group and individual successes in an Irish music competition.

The group of young musicians competed in the Northern Regional Fleadh in Manchester on Saturday 9 May and has won a place in the All Britain Fleadh, to be hosted by the Northern Region on 27 and 28 June at Meyerscough College near Preston.

Plan ahead for the Tour de Yorkshire

City of York Council is encouraging residents and visitors to plan ahead for Saturday 2 May when stage two of the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire will finish in York.

Stage two of the Tour de Yorkshire will see riders setting off from Selby, racing through the East Riding of Yorkshire before making their way to York. The peloton will enter York from the A166 before taking on two and half laps of a 20km finishing circuit, around the city from the Racecourse and out to Murton, with the finish expected to be between 3.30 and 4pm.

A professional women’s race will cover five laps of the same 20km finishing circuit in the morning, with the race starting at 11am at Knavesmire Road. This will give people another great chance to see world class cycling in York.

The fast-paced circuit will see the cyclists negotiate the city’s historic streets including the bar and cobbles of Micklegate and the beautiful bar walls along Paragon Street.

The circuit also makes a welcome return to Bishopthorpe Road to replicate scenes that were seen across the world during the Tour de France.

From walking to jogging in 10 weeks.

Walkers who would like to speed up and start jogging are invited to join a new programme which transforms residents from striding out to jogging up to five kilometres after 10 weeks.

The Walk 2 Jog Programme, organised by City of York Council, starts on Tuesday 17 February at 6.30pm at Rowntree Park car park. The weekly sessions steadily increase in speed and distance, starting with a three kilometre walk which builds up to a five kilometre jog in week 10.

The fitness sessions are planned to be fun and sociable which participants really enjoy and feel the benefits of in terms of stamina, aerobic capacity and weight loss.

The course will be taken by Jonathan Nyman, qualifying as an England Athletics run leader. Jonathan first started jogging as a way of helping to control high blood sugar levels, which developed into setting up a social jogging group.

Jogging as an exercise is a great aerobic activity which can help weight loss and develop a healthy heart. While many people take up jogging to enter local races and raise money for charity, those who want to carry on will be given other options available, which includes joining other jogging and running groups held across York.

This Walk 2 Jog course is for adults and costs £10 for 10 weeks with each session lasting approximately 40 to 60 minutes. Participants are asked to bring a drink and wear trainers and comfortable clothes. For further information and to book contact Dean Sharp, Sports Participation Officer email dean.sharp@york.gov.uk or call 01904 553377.

New golf skills course arranged following sell out success in January

An indoor golf course which started at the beginning of January sold out so quickly that it has prompted the council’s Sport and Active Leisure team to organise another for the beginning of February.

The course starts at Burnholme Community Sports Hub (formerly Burnholme Community College) on Monday 23 February from 7pm to 8pm and will last for five weeks. If demand proves to be high a second session from 8 to 9pm will be introduced on the same night.

Local Group? Looking for a free meeting venue? Gale Farm Court may be the answer

The residents of Gale Farm Court, the sheltered accommodation unit for older people which is located on Front Street, have come up with a novel way of making better use of their community room.Rock band

They are offering free use of the room – which can accommodate up to 40 people – to local groups who need a meeting space.

The residents will permit free use of the room with priority being given to groups who might let residents join in with their activities.

Obviously this offer is likely to be of particular interest to craft, further education and discussion groups who are in need of additional participants, but it may also go some way to satisfying the demand for space at places like Energise and the Library which are sometimes over subscribed.

Any group that is interested should communicate their details and requirements to:

Kerrie Smith|Sheltered Housing Scheme Manager

t: 01904 552298 |m: 07825680637| e: kerrie.smith@york.gov.uk


Foxwood benches restored on Chesneys Field


The public seats – sponsored by the Foxwood Residents Association – have been restored to Chesneys Field today

They had been tipped up by vandals but it is hoped that more secure fixings will reduce this vulnerability in the future.

Anyone witnessing vandalism in this – or other – area is urged to report the  matter to the Police.



Fitness instructors wanted for older people


City of York Council is inviting fitness instructors to get in touch about setting up new classes to add to the successful Eng-AGE 50+ activity programme.

Instructors who join the Eng-AGE programme will be invited to showcase their activity by offering a taster session at the annual Eng-AGE 50+ Day at Energise on Monday 17 February from 9.30am to 4pm.

Planning is already underway so any instructor who wants to find out more should contact Catriona Sudlow, Older Peoples Physical Activity Officer on 01904 553377 or email Catriona.sudlow@york.gov.uk before Friday 13 December.

For more information about the Eng-AGE programme of activities visit www.york.gov.uk/eng-AGE

Energise commended by leading quality scheme

Energise Pool

Energise has passed a tough assessment from Sport England’s leading national quality scheme, Quest, in which it scored Excellent.

Quest is the most well known improvement programme within the leisure industry and its rigorous assessments challenge even the very best leisure centres in the UK.

In order to achieve Quest Plus, Energise went through a two year process, with a mystery visit and a two day assessment in the first year, and a second mystery visit and one day assessment in the second year.

The mystery visit in year two is particularly challenging as the mystery visitor does not work in the leisure industry.