York Civic Trust

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York Civic Trust

Current Activities: City Enhancement Fund


The Rigg monument after restoration, re-dedicated by the Archbishop of York on 11 March 2017

All the proceeds of Sir Ron's new book go to the City Enhancement Fund

Work began to restore the Rigg monument in July

Before repair work, the 1850s gates to former Archbishop Holgate's school playing fields

Missing nineteenth century cast iron at Low Petergate, which the Trust hopes to replace
The City Enhancement Fund was established to help preserve, restore, enhance, enrich and sustain the city of York. It invests in projects that are suggested either by the Trust's members or other members of the public. The Fund does not carry out work which is the responsibility of the City of York Council, but it does, on certain projects, work with the Council, where all agree a project is important. We have a vacancy for a Project Officer to help with this work: see this page.

The City Enhancement Fund is operated through a steering Trust Committee and the projects are run by a series of teams of Trust members. They have volunteered to take forward a range of projects using the Trust's Fund, which by co-operation with landowners, other organisations and experts can help the projects take shape. The more help, knowledge and enthusiasm the better!
Among the ways you can help is by buying Sir Ron Cooke's new book.  Here is a link to the publisher.  
We raised funds for cleaning up and improving the Rigg monument (seven young people died boating on the Ouse - see this page).
We arranged to improve the special small open space in York - the "pocket park" - besides All Saints Pavement.
Metalwork can also be very vulnerable, and we are taking an interest in Bridge Lane Gates - the gates to the former Archbishop Holgate Grammar School's playing fields. The NHS York Hospital approached us with a view to the Civic Trust restoring these historically significant gates on their behalf.  The gates were cast by the York's important Walker Iron Foundry (on Walmgate) in the 1850s.  But they have sustained serious damage to the columns and loss of cast iron detailing to the metal (see picture, top). 
The Trust carried out an assessment of the structure and provided a costed proposal to the NHS, which has been accepted.  The NHS have provided the necessary funding for works to be project managed by our Project Manager, Nick Beilby.  The gates and some of the columns were removed on 18 July to the workshops of Barker and Patterson in Hull, where they will be repaired.  New concrete foundations will be provided prior to reinstatement of the gates; these are being designed by Dosser MCA.  We are delighted at this good progress and co-operation with York Hospital.

Work is in hand regarding the iron trim on Starbucks at Low Petergate, which was damaged by a lorry some years ago. The missing section of cast iron fender will need to be cast, using the existing as a pattern. 

Other projects which the Trust would like to make progress on are:
  • Other "pocket parks" in central York
  • Improving York's snickelways (eg clutter) and the look of waste disposal sites (eg corrals for bins)
  • Installing a suitable permanent 'banner' across Fossgate to celebrate its identity
  • Repairing, updating and enhancing the Wayfinder finger posts which point to York's attractions
  • Installing plaques at important sites - giving information about local history or notable York residents
  • Rescuing buildings at risk, such as the eighteenth century Tuke family house on Lawrence Street.

We are grateful for any contributions towards our City Enhancement Fund projects, if you would like to help us, please click on the Donate button.  You can also take part in charity events, during 2016-17, as we are one of the Lord Mayor's charities this year.