Daredevils in soap boxes will be hurtling down the cobbles of Micklegate next summer.

The Micklegate Run Soap Box Challenge is planned for August 2016 – one of a raft of ideas to revitalise this historic York street.

It comes from the Micklegate Business Initiative, a new group formed by 25 local businesses.

Their aim is to work together to improve and reclaim the famous street in York. They are planning events for shoppers and families including an artisan market this Christmas.

Over the last few years Micklegate has suffered with eleven shops becoming empty, and footfall reducing as a result.

That added to the street’s negative association of excessive drinking by some visitors at the weekend on the so-called “Micklegate Run”.
 
That name will be reclaimed with the summer event, said Shelagh Garside from Curtain Up on Micklegate.

“Micklegate has always been known for the Micklegate Run. We now want to turn this negative into a big positive.”

Shelagh added:

Our aim is to organise a family festival day in late August with our Micklegate Run Soap Box Challenge. 

This will see soap box go-carts racing down Micklegate with different teams competing for the glory of winning the Micklegate Run.

Reclaiming the street

Traders believe that, despite the many excellent businesses on Micklegate, the image of the street is well below where it deserves to be. 

The Micklegate Business Initiative plans to reverse this by uniting traders together to reclaim the true spirit of Micklegate for local residents, shoppers and tourists.
 
Chris Ceasar of Micklegate Photography Gallery said: 

We are pleased to have formed the Micklegate Business Initiative. 

We are a close group of traders who care about the long term potential of Micklegate. 

We have seen what the Bishy Road Traders Association has done for Bishopthorpe Road and we aim to do the same for Micklegate.

 
Chris continued:  “We have some brilliant ideas and plans for the future. The Micklegate Business Initiative is determined to stop the rot and our ambitions are high. 

“Our ultimate aim is to get Micklegate back to being known as ‘York’s Finest Street’.”

‘Brilliant events’

United: the Micklegate Business Initiative. L-R:  Cpl. Jason Brownlee (Army Information Office), Lucinda Robinson (Plaskitt and Plaskitt), Johnny Hayes (Chair Micklegate Business Initiative, ,Kim Oldfield (Blossom Gallery and Framing), Clare Mullen (Plaskitt and Plaskitt), Jules Butler (Blossom Street Gallery and Framing), Marc Allinson (Artful Dodger), Shelagh Garside (Curtain Up) and Chris Cuino (Cafe La Tazzina).
United: the Micklegate Business Initiative. L-R: Cpl. Jason Brownlee (Army Information Office), Lucinda Robinson (Plaskitt and Plaskitt), Johnny Hayes (Chair Micklegate Business Initiative, ,Kim Oldfield (Blossom Gallery and Framing), Clare Mullen (Plaskitt and Plaskitt), Jules Butler (Blossom Street Gallery and Framing), Marc Allinson (Artful Dodger), Shelagh Garside (Curtain Up) and Chris Cuino (Cafe La Tazzina).

At the inaugural meeting of the Micklegate Business Initiative the traders elected Cllr Johnny Hayes as their chairman. 

Cllr Hayes also chairs the Bishy Road Traders Association. He said:

This is very good news for Micklegate. When people start working together you can achieve a great deal. 

The joint aim of all the traders in the Micklegate Business Initiative is to improve the image of the street, to hold brilliant events and to get good new businesses back into empty premises.

This will be an exciting journey and one that will make a genuine difference to Micklegate and to York.

 
The Micklegate Business Initiative will take part in the Ice Trail taking place across York over the weekend of December 12 and 13 and hold an artisan market.