Talk York: A City-Wide Survey

Updated: Jun 20, 2019

“To continue building a strong and inclusive local economy, we need to draw on our strengths and promote York in a way that appeals to our residents and communities, whilst simultaneously attracting crucial investment in the city. Our most well-known industries are chocolate and railways, but we need to raise the profile of our other successes, such as our knowledge and science sectors.”

York is already the ‘best place to live’ in the North and North East of England in 2019, and previously was the ‘best place to live’ in the UK during 2018, as voted for by the Sunday Times. York was also awarded Conde Nast city of best architecture, the city’s Christmas market is the best in the UK and York is the most friendly, most community-spirited, most festive and most summer-friendly city, with YouGov finding that we are Britain’s favourite city.

Funded externally by the Leeds City Region business rates pool, these conversations are the start of putting in place a framework that will help us secure investment and engage communities. Having had the opportunity to review the projects priorities, £300k will now be protected alongside the consultation for inclusive growth projects, such as strengthening our approach to child poverty, greening the high street and promoting lifelong learning, rather than marketing. The outcomes of this consultation, to be reported to an Executive Decision Session, will help influence how this funding will have most impact.

Organisations from across the city have come together to better understand and promote what makes York ‘York’. With funding secured from the Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool; residents, businesses and visitors are being asked to work together to help the city attract new investors to York, improve residents earning power and ensure residents are better able to enjoy what the city has to offer.

Through the Talk York consultation, feedback from residents, community groups, local businesses and many more will be used to promote York in a new light, which in turn, will be used to attract better paid jobs, secure inward investment and continue to grow the local economy.

Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said:

“We are investing over £500m into the city, the largest investment for generations, but this needs to benefit everybody. Through this initiative, we can maximise the potential of projects like York Central and Castle Gateway to attract high-value jobs. Unemployment in the city is very low, but we can always do more to improve the earning potential of all our residents and improve quality of life.”

The work is led by a consortium of the award-winning teams at HemingwayDesign, For the Love of Place and Creative Tourist Consults, each passionate about helping shape and develop places for inward investment, tourism and residents. Steered by Wayne Hemingway, whose has launched leading brands across an inspiring career spanning fashion through to urban design, the combined team brings international and best-practice experience including in Amsterdam, Manchester, Copenhagen, Utrecht, London King’s Cross and Thamesmead.

Wayne Hemingway, co-founder of HemingwayDesign said:

“We want to inspire people to talk about how they currently view York and whether they think there is more to York than first impressions. By sharing your thoughts, you will help us develop a story for York that is meaningful and resonates across the city’s diverse residents, businesses and visitors.”

The survey is open until Tuesday 9 July. If you have 10 minutes to spare, we would love to hear your thoughts.


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Everyone is encouraged to share the survey widely with colleagues, friends and family in the city and beyond.

Residents without online access will have the chance to share how they think about York at libraries and community centres around the city, and there will be opportunities for people to join walking tours, add their thoughts to pop-up boards in public spaces or other activities taking place across the city.

There will be a masterclass to consider what makes York special for businesses and residents led by Martin Boisen, founder of For the Love of Place, on Tuesday 2 July 2019.