decrease font-size reset font-size increase font-size

Mark Addy Revealed as Patron for York Culture Awards 2016

English actor and born and bred Yorkshireman, Mark Addy, has been announced as Patron of the York Culture Awards, to help support and raise the profile of these new awards for York and its surroundings. The York Culture Awards, to held on 1 December 2016, will celebrate excellence in the arts and cultural sector and reward outstanding innovation, creativity and quality.

Known for portraying Detective Constable Gary Boyle in the British sitcom The Thin Blue Line, Dave in the film The Full Monty and more recently King Robert Baratheon in the HBO medieval fantasy series Game of Thrones, Mark is a well-known face in his home city of York. Born in the Tang Hall area of York, Mark was raised and educated in the city. His ancestors have lived in York since at least 1910, when his great-grandfather was living in the city. And his father, Ian, spent his working life as a glazier at York Minster From 1982 to 1984.

Mark said, ‘I’m thrilled to be able to support the York Culture Awards and all those involved. York is such a culturally rich city, with the arts being at the forefront of a lot of community activity. These York Culture Awards will help showcase lots of local talent, from artists to musicians, actors to playwrights. I’m especially interested to encourage local schools and community groups to submit an entry.’

Kate McMullen, Head of Tourism at Make It York said, ‘We’re delighted Mark has agreed to be Patron for our inaugural York Culture Awards 2016. Being born and raised in York and then having gone on to achieve such a successful career places him in the perfect position for the role. We’re really excited to have him on board and look forward to welcoming him on stage at the awards in December.’

Free to enter, there will be eleven Awards for the taking including; Culture Partnership, Community Project or Event, Cultural Champion, Cultural Education, Cultural Equality and Diversity, Cultural Event or Festival, Film, Performing Artist/s, Production, Visual Artist and Writer. Entries will be open until 30 September 2016 for cultural activity which has taken place between July 2015 and September 2016.

Lawrence Christensen, group marketing director of headline sponsor Benenden, said: ‘Benenden has been based in York for just over a quarter of a century, so we know just how vital the cultural sector is to the local economy we are a part of. Our city’s culture plays an important part in bringing together communities, which is an ethos we have much in common with.’

The first two entries for the York Culture Awards 2016 have been received and are as follows:

York Theatre Royal – Pantomime (production)
York Theatre Royal pantomime welcomes around 45,000 audience members every year.
When the theatre’s capital redevelopment project was delayed due to archaeological finds in the auditorium, a decision had to be made to either cancel the annual pantomime or move it elsewhere. The team decided to stage a pantomime like no other, in the Signal Box Theatre at the National Railway Museum. This was the world's first traverse pantomime, with audiences seated either side of a railway track.

Abbigail Olive, Head of Communications at York Theatre Royal, said, ‘It took a huge leap of creativity to think about making the show work in a traverse space. The whole team pulled together to create a first class experience and feedback has been fantastic on all aspects of the production, from the welcome, to the show itself and even the heated toilets were commended! We made the space our own and kept our teams highly motivated during cold winter days when they were outside and loved the experience ourselves.’

The Y Street Band – Performing Artist/s
Over the past four years, The Y Street Band has established a musical career that has become heavily ingrained within the city of York. During their studies at York St John University, these five friends began making a name for themselves busking on the vibrant streets of the city. This exposure, coupled with their unique abilities, quickly began generating opportunities for the group, which before long lead to performing several times a week in a whole array of local venues, events, festivals and private functions. With original music now at the forefront of their activities, the band continues to move from strength to strength as they plan to cement themselves as a professional music act both locally and nationally.

Gordon Train, guitarist in the Y Street band, said ' We are thrilled to be a part of the York Culture Awards. We have been entertaining locals and tourists alike for a while now and we're just glad to see the musicians that are ingrained in York’s vast culture beginning to get the recognition they deserve'.


Photocall Opportunity – Mark will be visiting York on Thursday.

15:15 – photo opportunity at the Central Methodist Church, St Saviourgate York. This is the Venue for the York Culture Awards.
Mark will be joined by two members of the Y Street band

For further information please contact:
Kay Hyde – Head of PR and Corporate Communications – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554451
Mobile: 07506 048852

Cassie Meegan-Vickers – Senior Communications Executive – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554436

Notes to editors:

In December 2015 York celebrates its one year anniversary of being designated a UNESCO City of Media Arts; In Fog and Falling Snow was heralded a triumph, delivered by York Theatre Royal with 200 community actors; the Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) opened placing York at the forefront of British Studio ceramics and the Living Heritage Centre opened at the Bar Convent. And on 20th January, at the York Tourism Conference, some of the city’s top tourist attractions will also announce their plans for the New Year, including details about the return of the Flying Scotsman at the National Railway Museum, York Theatre Royal’s re-opening and plans for York Mystery Plays at York Minster.

Make It York (York’s Destination Organisation) – Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. The remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment.

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand
Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York

Key tourism facts:
6.8 million visitors annually, £608 million total visitor spend, supporting 23,300 jobs

Benenden is the trading name of The Benenden Healthcare Society Limited and its subsidiaries. Based in York, their vision is to be the leading health & wellbeing mutual community in the UK.

The Benenden Healthcare Society Limited is a friendly society, founded in 1905. It offers affordable, discretionary healthcare services that complement rather than replace the care offered by the NHS. For £8.45 per person, per month, members can request a range of healthcare services, with no exclusions for pre-existing medical conditions or upper age restrictions. It is a five-time winner of ‘Most Trusted’ healthcare provider at the 2011-2015 Moneywise Customer Service Awards.