‘Coney Street is so busy but the retail just doesn’t work at the moment’

(This article was published by YorkMix)

York 016

Photograph: @stolenoranges

This article first appeared in YorkMix

More details have been given on plans to revitalise Coney Street in York – including changing the shopping mix.

During a Reviving Our High Streets walking tour, part of the Big Tent Ideas Festival, people were told more about the Coney Street Riverside plan.

This is the scheme to create public access to the riverside as well as create new retail, commercial and student living space. An application for the development went in to City of York Council last year.

The walking tour was led by Edward Harrowsmith, a director of the Helmsley Group responsible for the scheme.

He said getting more independent, small, boutique businesses into central Coney Street was a big part of the plans.

“Coney Street is so busy but the retail just doesn’t work at the moment,” he said.

On a walk along the riverside, he said the area behind Vodka Revolution would become accessible under the scheme.

“This space isn’t used,” he said. “But we feel it is a real opportunity to change the High Street.”

For the last year, the former Burtons store on Coney Street has been given over to the StreetLife project.

Funded by £469,000 from the Government’s Community Renewal Fund, StreetLife is run by the University of York, and aims to help “shape a new and vibrant future” for Coney Street.

An overgrown area behind Street Life’s York office was also demonstrated as an opportunity to invest and expand the area where bars like the Pitcher and Piano offer outside eating and drinking.

Mr Harrowsmith said: “It is a part of the city that no one comes to because you can’t access it.”

He added that around the area are grade-listed buildings that are “rotting” but have the potential to be part of a vibrant space in York.

Meanwhile at the Big Tent Ideas Festival in Dean’s Park on Saturday, topics were discussed by political thinkers from the city and further afield, including how devolution of North Yorkshire can be delivered

Eden Project founder Sir Tim Smit said there will be an independent Yorkshire in 15 years.

Leave a Reply