College Green has been transformed into an outdoor pop-up food and drink area – complete with tipi and selfie spot.
It will open tomorrow (Saturday) at 11am. Anyone buying food or drink from nearby businesses – whether it’s lunch, coffee and cake, or a beer from one of the pubs, or anything else – can take it to the pop-up area and enjoy it there.
It has been created by the York BID as part of the city’s ongoing programme to help businesses recover in the wake of lockdown.
The area will be open from 11am-9pm daily.
The BID has been working with groups of businesses to understand their needs, including how to make best use of the available public outdoor space.
College Green was identified as an open space with potential to support the hospitality businesses of Goodramgate, many of which are housed in historic buildings with limited outside space.
The land is owned by York Minster, which was keen to support the BID and explore how the space could be utilised in a more structured way to serve the immediate business community.
Executive director at the BID Andrew Lowson said: “A lot of hospitality businesses have lost capacity due to social distancing guidance.
“The College Green Pop-up will enable surrounding businesses to essentially expand their covers, whilst locals and visitors can enjoy food and drink in what is an attractive outside space.
“Most importantly, it will allow businesses to generate additional income.”
A tipi-style tent provided by local company PapaKata has been erected on the green, with tables and chairs located both inside and out; regularly sanitised in line with best practice.
The whole space will feel light and airy, making the most of the popular location. Its capacity is 130.
It will be managed at all times, with priority given to those who have purchased food and drink at nearby businesses, so they can get maximum benefit from the pop-up.
Temporary toilet facilities will be available.Waste management, cleaning, security and staffing will be managed by the BID and PapaKata.
Making Minster proud
There are many food and drink businesses in the area who will benefit from the College Green Pop-up who do not have the option to use their immediate frontage for seating.
The initiative has received an overwhelmingly positive response.
Wes Taylor runs Fancy Hanks on Goodramgate described it as an excellent idea.
“All hospitality businesses are currently running at a lower capacity than usual due to social distancing guidance.
“It is a great way to give us all a little extra space to make up the loss in business we are currently experiencing. It is also another outdoor space for the people of York and visitors to enjoy themselves in a spacious and safe environment.”
The Right Revd Dr Jonathan Frost, Dean of York, said: “York Minster is proud to be the test site for this innovative project. We strongly support the city’s tourism recovery strategy.
“There is a real sense of purpose and a collaborative effort focused entirely on bringing life back to the city centre and doing all we can to help local businesses recover and thrive.”
Econony lead on City of York Council Cllr Andrew Waller said: “We’re really pleased to support this ‘new’ outdoor family-friendly space, which is all part of our ongoing city wide recovery plan, to look at how we can increase public spaces including creating more flexible areas for leisure, culture and local businesses.”
The project is co-funded between the BID and City of York Council.