Multi-million pound developments in York will herald a new dawn for the city, says senior councillor

A succession of long-awaited multi-million pound developments which are set to be realised across York will provide a springboard for investment and herald a new dawn for the city’s economy, a senior councillor has said.

The series of regeneration projects include the York Central development, which will be created on one of the biggest brownfield sites in Europe, as well as the Castle Gateway scheme centred on the famous Clifford’s Tower monument.

Plans to dual an initial stretch of the carriageway on the notoriously congested northern stretch of York’s outer ring road are also out to public consultation.

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York Council’s executive member for finance and performance, Coun Nigel Ayre, told The Yorkshire Post that the projects were a vital addition to a vision to regenerate districts across the city and help claw the economy from the grip of coronavirus.

An artist's impression of how the Castle Gateway scheme will look

“These schemes are hugely important to taking forward the economy for York and rest of the region,” he said. “Traditional industries for York such as confectionery and the railways have diminished in recent years, and we need to look to attract new industries and sectors.

"There has perhaps been an over-reliance on tourism, which is obviously a very welcome boost for the city but it is not the best paid sector. We are in many ways a victim of our own success, as the city’s universities provide a hugely talented and highly skilled pool of graduates, but there is not always the jobs or the housing available to them in the city.”

Coun Ayre also confirmed talks are continuing with Ministers to bring a government department to the site of the £1.2bn York Central development.

Plans to relocate the House of Lords to the city emerged in January but the proposals have since faltered, although Coun Ayre stressed he is hopeful that a government hub will still be brought to York.

The brownfield site at York Central

The York Central development has been heralded as a once-in- a-lifetime opportunity to bring thousands of jobs and much-needed housing to the city.

Plans for the 110-acre site, centred on York’s railway station, would see 6,500 jobs and 2,500 homes created.

The York Central Partnership, which includes Network Rail, Homes England and the council, submitted a planning application in the summer for the first phase of infrastructure works.

The application, which was approved by councillors last month, included plans for roads, cycleways and footpaths as well as a new bridge across the East Coast main line.

Work on the initial infrastructure elements of the York Central development is due to start early next year.

Councillors also gave the go-ahead this month for a major part of the Castle Gateway regeneration scheme.

The project is focused on land around Clifford’s Tower, the last remaining part of York’s castle dating from the 11th century, and is seen as vital to breathing new life into the city centre’s economy.

The first element of the York Council-led project will see 106 new homes built on the Castle Mills car park, a pedestrian and cycle bridge across the river and a footpath and park behind Castle Museum.

The delivery of the full Castle Gateway masterplan is expected to generate £365m for the region over a 10-year period.