Updated: Lion sculpture trail plan for York city centre

A popular event… the Manchester Bee Trail. Photograph: Visit Manchester

A lion sculpture trail could be installed in York city centre.

Destination management company Make It York has plans to create a big art route in the spring of 2020.

It is modelled on the Manchester bee trail, which saw more than 100 individually designed giant bees positioned across the city.

At a council meeting on Tuesday (December 11), Make It York MD Steve Brown said lions could be chosen as the basis of the project because there are five lions on the York coat of arms.


He said:

  • As a historical tie-in we could create a story around that.

    We sent somebody down to Brighton last week to look at what they were doing, because they were doing something very similar and attracting massive attention.

    At the end you do a big auction and I think Brighton raised £231,000 which went to charity.

    So we’re looking at maybe working with York BID and St Leonard’s Hospice.

    It’s their 35th year in 2020 and putting on a really powerful trail that gets lots of people here and gets a lot of people interested and then at the end of it raising lots of money for the hospice.

But he said the project is still very much a “work in progress”.

Plans for next year

The incoming boss of Make It York helm… Sean Bullick
Documents say Make It York is set to make a net profit of £35,000 and, for the fourth year in a row, it is financially stable.

But the report says there has been a shortfall in revenue due to the York Pass, website advertising and conference marketing – with the hot summer having a negative impact on sales of the sightseeing card.

Make It York’s new managing director, Sean Bullick, starts in January and the report says he will “inevitably want to put his own stamp on the priorities.”


Next year the organisation’s plans include working with the council and York BID to boost the city centre including Coney Street, agreeing plans to “future-proof” Shambles Market and preparing for a year of festivals in 2020.

The group will also help shape the council’s plans to brand the city.

David Horne, managing director of train company LNER, has also joined the Make It York board.

The organisation’s performance from April to September 2018 will be discussed by councillors at a meeting tomorrow.