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News Release - Issued by Make it York

York’s New Destination Management Organisation

Today (Tuesday 19 May) will see the launch of York’s new Destination Management Organisation; Make It York, tasked with helping to improve the economic well-being of the City.
300 leaders from the York business and cultural community will gather at the Park Inn hotel, to hear plans for the new company. Make It York brings together the work currently delivered by Visit York, Science City York (SCY) and City of York Council’s inward investment, business support and events and festivals teams into one new strategic and dynamic company.

Steve Brown, Managing Director of Make It York, said, ‘the best interests of York will always be at the heart of what we do. Ultimately our aim is to enable our city and its surroundings to develop as a world-class vibrant and attractive destination to live, visit, study and do business.’

At the launch event, Make It York will make a series of announcements including its support of the quest to establish a ‘Business Improvement District’, (BID) in York. This was initiated by the City Team York, under Chairman Adam Sinclair’s leadership and project managed by former Editor of York Press, Steve Hughes.
On the business and inward investment front, Mr Brown will reveal that job number one is to update and refresh the sales story for locating or re-locating a business in York, developing a ‘tool-kit’ of resources to help tell that story. Supported by Stirling Kimkeran, Head of Omnicom Engineering Ltd, a bespoke mobile App will be developed to promote York to businesses in an innovative and ‘real time’ way. As part of this Make it York will also aim to enhance York’s important retail sector, encouraging yet more contemporary and stylish retailers to locate here.
Other new initiatives being unveiled today include:

• New marketing activity through Science City York in the key business sectors of biosciences, creative and IT/digital

• Through Visit York, York’s burgeoning gastro scene will be promoted internationally in a new ‘Taste York’ campaign, which will see York promoted in a new foodie video, hosted on the travel website and at

• Help and support for local businesses in gaining sponsorship for festivals and events

• A campaign has been launched to help put York’s Shambles market on the map as a ‘must visit’ for both visitors and residents, as well as promoting events locally and nationally

• A new self-sustaining project to help ensure the city maximizes the potential of its UNESCO City of Media Arts status, ensuring a long term programme of media arts development

• A £100k funding bid to the Visit England GREAT UK Challenge Fund, submitted by Make It York, to deliver on the ambition to make York ‘the most China Friendly City in the UK’

• A new annual Cultural Awards event for local businesses, held annually in January, to celebrate York’s cultural year and promote York’s reputation as a Festival City

• York will be part of a new 12 month campaign to market the North of England in key international markets. A £10m Fund will be managed by VisitEngland, working with VisitBritain and other partners across the North

Plans being unveiled today will also include a refreshed ‘Science City York’ strategy. This includes playing a key role in attracting inward investment and working with the SCY advisory Board, chaired by Chris Danks, to exploit opportunities for high growth science sectors. A part of this is the establishment of a brand new fund available for start-up businesses operating in the city’s creative, science and technology sectors.

Make It York has also partnered with to foster co-working across the city. A new bespoke website for York, will offer businesses who have spare offices the opportunity to connect up with small and start-up companies looking for a desk or two.

Make It York’s commitment to attracting business tourism will also be outlined today; to attract
an increased volume and value of conferences and business meetings. Plus a renewed
focus will be announced on sectors in which York has strength and high growth potential such as: rail, insurance and the food and the science sectors. A raft of other initiatives are also in the pipeline such as a tourism bid to Northern Futures to help deliver on Visit York’s plan for a £1billion tourism sector by 2024.

Jane Lady Gibson, Chair of Make It York said, ‘York has many challenges and no single organisation can solve all of a city’s issues. However, we hope the ideas and initiatives being revealed today demonstrate our ambition for York and that by working collaboratively with businesses and communities across the city and beyond, our aim is to maximise York’s potential to the full.’


Notes to Editor

Make It York (York’s new Destination Organisation) has an overarching remit to market the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as an exciting place to live, visit, study 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

VisitYork4meetings is a part of Make It York and is the business tourism brand
Under the brand VisitYork4meetings Make It York’s aim is to market York as a quality destination for conferences, meetings and events

Science City York is a part of Make It York and is business and innovation brand which supports the city and its surroundings’ creative, science and technology businesses.
Under the Science City brand, Make It York’s aim is to promote York as a great place to do business, helping to support business growth and innovation and to stimulate greater inward investment.

Make It York will also work with businesses across a range of other sectors, such as financial & professional services, rail and high value manufacturing to stimulate growth.

Key tourism facts:
6.7 million visitors annually, £573 million total visitor spend, supporting 19,000 jobs

Key business tourism facts:
An estimated 16,900 business events are attended by a million business event visitors annually
£148.9m spent at venues and in the local destination

Key business & investment facts:
The York economy is currently worth £4.75billion (GVA), supporting around 8,105 businesses and 114,000 jobs

The Make It York launch event will also be attended by the Lord Mayor and civic party, Chief Executive of City of York Council and Leader of York Council.

To celebrate the launch event a Made In York buffet was generously offered by the following sponsors:
Yorkshire Food Finder, Guppy’s Chocolates, Puckett’s Pickles, York Coffee Emporium and Haxby
Bakehouse, FP Macaroons, York’s CHOCOLATE Story, Nestlé UK, York Cocoa House, Ged Bell
Family Butchers.

Corporate Sponsors include:
• Santander
• Walker Morris
• Wood & Richardson
• Lazenby Brown
• Park Inn by Radisson
• Saville Audio Visual
• Talk Talk
• Deans
• Lupton Fawcett

For further information and to request an interview please contact:

Kay Hyde – Head of Communications – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554451
Mobile: 07506 048852

Katie Parsons – Senior Communications Executive – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554436