One of York’s most distinctive old buildings to be reborn as café

The Red Tower on Foss Islands Road
york-red-tower-cafe

New lease of life: the Red Tower. Photograph © Harry Mitchell via Wikimedia Commons

Plans are underway to open the Red Tower on York’s medieval walls at Foss Island as a community kitchen, café and activity space serving residents and visitors to the city.

The Red Tower will be open for York Residents’ Festival weekend from on Jan 31-Feb 1 @ 10am-3pm. Friends of York Walls will also be opening Fishergate Postern Tower at the same time

More information

TIM website and Facebook page

The Incredible Movement (TIM) in York is working with City of York Council, Friends of York Walls and other groups and individuals across the City to see if it is viable to use the tower as a focus for food-related activities.

The late 15th Century building is a Grade I listed Scheduled Ancient Monument and the only brick tower on the city’s walls.

It was built to form part of York’s defences, and substantially altered in Victorian times. It is owned by the council who has indicated that they would welcome a new life for this long-unused building.

Chance to look inside

TIM and Friends of York Walls are throwing open the doors of the Red Tower over York Residents’ Festival (Saturday, January 31 and Sunday, February 1), to share ideas for the future of the Tower and encourage more people to get involved.

Refreshments will be provided and visitors will be given a rare opportunity to see inside the tower.

Imelda Havers from TIM in York hopes that the opening will be the first of many events once the building is refurbished. She said…

It is very early days, and we are still at the ideas stage, but this is the ideal time to get the views of as many people as possible, as well as bringing more people on board with developing the project.

So far we have been delighted with the positive encouragement we’ve had from City of York Council and the energy and enthusiasm from a wide range of people.

We actively welcome as many people as possible to visit the Tower over Residents Weekend and get involved and give us their ideas.

Ideas gathering support include

creating a kitchen where community groups can share healthy cooking skills
a café where wholesome and affordable food is available and
a growing space where people can learn how to grow food.

Local produce will be used according to what is available.

TIM is ready to solve problems

TIM is a network of individuals and groups from across the city which actively seeks to change our neighbourhoods for the better through grass roots action.

Inspired by Incredible Edible Todmorden, the West Yorkshire town renowned for creating greater social cohesion through growing food in public spaces, TIM takes a similar approach to neighbourhood renewal.

Initiated in 2013 by a group of local people, it is keen to develop dynamic and inclusive ways of solving similar problems in an era of spending cuts and austerity.