Giving York the wow factor: New Make It York boss outlines his vision

York's role as a cultural destination, exemplified by Shakespeare's Rose Theatre, is key. Photograph © Allan Harris on Flickr
15 May 2019 @ 7.17 am
| Business

“We need to build on York’s strengths but also dial up the city’s vibrancy and creativity to help ensure there is a wow factor here 365 days of the year.”

The words of the new head of Make It York Sean Bullick, ahead of the organisation’s stakeholder meeting at the Principal York hotel today (15 May).

Sean will outline his plans for the city, with the key points including:

  • Culture put centre stage
  • International connections boosted through UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts status
  • European city brand experts appointed to create new proposition for the city

Dial up the vibrancy

Head of Make It York… Sean Bullick
Appointed in January, Sean leads the team responsible for positioning the city as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.

He will plans to put culture at the heart of the city’s economic prosperity and wellbeing. As part of a project led by City of York Council, Make It York will help drive forward the city’s new cultural strategy, which has ambitions for York to reach the top five in the UK league table for cultural engagement.

Sean said:

  • By 2025 York’s ambition is to be internationally recognised for its unique interface between exceptional heritage and contemporary art.

    We need to build on York’s strengths but also dial up the city’s vibrancy and creativity to help ensure there is a wow factor here 365 days of the year.

    Our role is to increase the city’s economic prosperity and contribute to its wider wellbeing. By putting culture at the heart of what we do, we’ll encourage collaboration, inward investment and crucially encourage creative minds.

Highlights of 2018

The Great Yorkshire Fringe brought fun to Parliament Street in 2018
At the event Sean will also give a report on 2018 performance, a year in which York was named Best Place to Live by the Sunday Times and national food critic Giles Coren named York the “Capital of the Food Universe.”

Highlights included the completion of a £1.6million ERDF funded project with FERA to stimulate innovation in the agri-food Sector; contributing an estimated £26.4 million gross value added to the economy and creating 274 jobs by 2021.

St Nicholas Fair was named ‘Best Large Speciality Market’ in the NABMA Awards.

Parliament Street was transformed to once again host the Great Yorkshire Fringe and Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre arrived – the first pop-up Elizabethan theatre in Europe. With audiences of 65,000, the city’s inaugural York Mediale celebrated the city’s UNESCO City of Media Arts status.

And 2018 was another strong year for tourism in York with visits to the main attractions up by 8% and the number of room nights sold 3% up year on year.

Overall there were 3.4m visits to the city’s attractions, almost £300k more than in 2017. City centre footfall grew by 2% in 2018, compared to a national decline of -2%.