York Civic Trust

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York Civic Trust

Current Activities: The Future of York

The York Civic Trust Planning Committee has held a series of briefings and seminars with ordinary members of the Trust and has researched and extensively discussed the city's current, former and potential future strengths. The attachments contained on this page show the results of this consultation.  They include the report of the Transport Workshops held with members, finalised in April 2017.
Join another workshop - about York Castle Gateway - on 17 or 18 August.  See the Events Calendar for those days for full details.

The Future of York
Vision statement prepared by York Civic Trust Planning Committee


The following short statement draws together the threads of our recent reflections and is intended to inspire the City Council to present an ambitious vision for the city, most immediately in the context of our developing a Draft Local Plan as it goes out to consultation.

York can blaze a trail in the UK for a new approach to growth, demonstrating that a great heritage can be the trigger for economic vitality, not a brake upon it.

York's economic strength lies in its diversity: biosciences (research, agri-business and food technology), financial services, IT and the media, transport management and engineering, higher education and, crucially, cultural and heritage tourism. The strength of its appeal as a place to live is underpinned by its community, its culture and its heritage.

Together, these strengths can provide the foundation for a successful future.  We will seek to capitalise on these strengths, and create an environment friendly to job creation and growth. 

We propose that York be the exemplar for a new approach to growth. Though it is not a World Heritage Site, York should behave as though it were.  The historic infrastructure is fragile and requires careful protection, but it provides an ambience in which people want to live and work and hence one which attracts employers. We propose the imaginative use of brownfield sites reinforced by the creation of a 'green star' rather than a green belt. Satellite settlements, developed using a new equitable economic model, can enable a more measured approach to the provision of high quality, well-serviced communities, connected by an integrated transport system. This is not entirely new - New Earswick is a site of international importance in the history of development and Derwenthorpe provides a smaller-scale recent example.  We should build on our knowledge and expertise to provide the springboard for a vibrant and forward-looking economy for a city of outstanding universal heritage significance. 

We call upon the City Council, the universities, the commercial community and the people of York to join us to make this vision a reality.

May 2016