Public are urged to back York’s Unesco bid

THE campaign for York to be named as a City of Media Arts by Unesco is being stepped up with the public being urged to back the bid.

A new website was launched yesterday to garner support ahead of a formal bid being submitted by the city on March 20 to join the global Creative Cities Network.

If the bid is successful, York will only be the second city in the world to receive the City of Media Arts accolade which would recognise its creative side.

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York Council’s leader, Coun James Alexander, said: “Winning this designation would put York in the international spotlight as a key destination for creative firms and practitioners to operate and do business with. It will serve as a catalyst for new investment, connections, exchanges and ideas being shared with York from across the globe.”

The network includes of culturally-significant centres across a range of creative fields, including literature, design, and film. Members of the network include Edinburgh, for literature, and Bradford, a city of film. Council bosses have claimed York’s cultural assets including the annual Illuminating York festival and the Aesthetica Short Film Festival, together with the growth of media arts industries, make it an appropriate time to apply for the title.

York Council’s cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, Coun Sonja Crisp, said: “York’s bid follows a period of consultation with the many practitioners and cultural bodies involved in York’s thriving Digital and Media Arts economy.

“These include the world-class talent and organisations behind flagship festivals such as Illuminating York and the Aesthetica Short Film Festival, and institutions such as Science City York that support them.

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“I’m also delighted that our bid is accompanied by formal endorsement from existing member cities of the Creative Cities Network.”

The bid for accreditation is being led by York Council in partnership with local business leaders and institutions, and a verdict is expected by November 30.

The new website can be found at