Risks that could scupper the York Central project – dubbed a “once in a lifetime opportunity for the city” – have been outlined for councillors.

They include delays caused by a general election, failure to secure funding and economic challenges stopping businesses from moving into the office space at the site.

The report lists 34 issues that pose a risk to the development – and how the council is preparing to tackle them.


It says the two biggest risks currently are that essential government funding of £77.1m does not come through and that a general election is called – delaying the project.

Here are some of the dangers that have been identified…

The funding risk

A decision on York’s bid from the Government’s housing infrastructure fund for the scheme has still not been announced.

And the report says if the Government funding bid is unsuccessful, the scheme may not go ahead or could be delayed.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said it was working with York and 44 other areas to develop Housing Infrastructure Fund Forward Funding projects.

“York’s bids are being assessed on a fair and competitive basis and further announcements of successful bids can be expected in the coming months,” he said.

Brexit and an election

The council report says a general election could delay the scheme by holding up government decisions.

And that Brexit may also lead to increased costs for materials, extra tariffs and even the availability of supplies.

Heritage risks

It also considers risks such as an archaeological discovery at the site, a lack of support from Historic England and York Civic Trust.

A lack of business support

Questions over the availability of utilities and a failure to attract businesses to the new offices are also potential risks.

But the report says companies have already come forward to say they are interested in expanding or moving into the commercial space.

Other issues deemed to be less of a risk to the project include what would happen if strike action took place during construction, if bad weather delays the scheme and if workers are not available.

What the council says

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Tracey Carter, assistant director of regeneration at the council, said: “This risk register is a key part of the York Central Partnership’s management to deliver such a complex project.

“The audit and governance committee is an essential step in ensuring key risks are considered at all stages of the project.

“It is good practice to identify risks to all our projects, thereby assessing what actions we can take to reduce them.”

“We continue to work with the Government to pursue a positive decision in unlocking the HIF funding.”

Up to 2,500 homes are also set to be built as part of York Central – forming a key part of the city’s draft Local Plan.

The report says: “The York Central project is possibly the most complex project ever undertaken by CYC.

“It is large scale, multi-faceted, strategically essential and requires the effective collaboration of four public sector land owners and is funded from multiple inter-related funding sources.”

The report will be discussed at a council meeting on Wednesday at 5.30pm.