Move to relocate Westminster departments to York has ‘overwhelming public support’ say city leaders

Dame Mary Archer and Greg Dyke, with a York Central visualisation in the background
4 Aug 2020 @ 8.21 am
| News

Nineteen city leaders have thrown their weight behind a campaign to bring a part of Westminster to York.

Key figures from business, politics and public bodies have joined forces to push for a relocation of a key government department to the city – or even the House of Lords.

Both ideas have been mooted – as well as a proposal to make York the temporary home to the Houses of Parliament while the London building is repaired.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to favour relocating some of the government to York.

Now an open letter has been sent to the government signed by Greg Dyke, chair of Make It York, Keith Aspden, City of York Council leader, Dame Mary Archer, chair of York Central Partnership and both of York’s MPs, Rachael Maskell and Julian Sturdy, among others.

It says:

  • We would like to express our strong support for any such move, which we believe would have overwhelming public support especially in York and the surrounding region, would play a major role in delivering the government’s national levelling-up agenda, and would be a very significant economic boost for the North.

‘Ready to go’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to be very keen on the idea. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau / PA Wire

The letter calls for detailed discussions with government to take the opportunity forward – highlighting the huge support from both York’s business community and residents for a move which would be transformative for the city.

It also showcases York Central – said to be a location considered as a possible new home for the House of Lords.

“The economic impact of the York Central development was originally estimated at £1.16bn in additional GVA. We believe it will be very significantly higher than that now.

“The Allies and Morrison Masterplan has secured outline Planning approval, and the required £155m infrastructure funding is approved and now only awaiting the detailed accessing information from Treasury. In short, it is ready to go.”