320,000 pieces of chewing gum removed from pavements.
York Councillors will be considering a report on Wednesday that reviews the work of the York BID. The, mainly business funded organisation, was formed in April 2016 and aims to improve the attractiveness of the City centre.
The report includes an impressive list of achievements. The blight
of chewing gum on footpaths is produces a particularly eye catching headline.
In addition, 961 pieces of graffiti and fly posters have been removed.
The BID ranger service has also helped to reduce anti-social
behaviour and address other criminal activities.
There has been a 1.9% increase in footfall in the City.
The report comes at a time when the government has announced that it will not be funding an initiative to regenerate the York “Future High Street” The shortlisted cities include places like Wakefield and Sheffield, but North Yorkshire has been snubbed.
Last month the government, the Architectural Heritage Fund
and the National Lottery Heritage Fund announced a £62 million package of
support to breathe new life into historic high streets across the country, to
restore historic buildings, create new work spaces and cultural venues. As part
of the overall funding, £55 million had been allocated from the Future High
Streets Fund. We still hope to see York benefit from this type of
The York BID has been successful initiative and has made a real
difference to the quality of the City centre. It has been criticised for
drawing Council resources away from sub-urban centres like Acomb but overall the
BID is viewed positively.
There are ongoing issues with more improvements needed to the
streetscape – too many weeds and too much graffiti – and of course empty properties.
The latter in areas like Coney Street now look to be intractable problems, which
is why the governments attitude to the City is so disappointing.
Some underused sites and buildings – including those owned by
the Council – need to be redeveloped quickly now. The meeting on Wednesday will
hear from the Executive member with responsibility for “Economy and
Strategic Planning”. Members will no doubt be hoping to hear some positive news
about the use of empty property economic development activities in the whole of
We hope that corporate interests will similarly ensure that
prominent, but derelict, sites like that next to the Barbican will also now be
developed (or at least tidied up).
Overall the BID has had a successful 3 years and can look with
confidence to an extension of its mandate.
NB. “Make it York” is reporting separately on its activities click here to read their report