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York 800 kicks off

York city council

11:48am 18th January 2012

York has kicked off its celebrations to mark 800 years since it was set on the road to democracy. The city has started this year- long celebration of its past, present and future right where it all began, with its Lord Mayor in the Mansion House!

This event brought together leading members of York's cultural, business, civic and educational institutions to celebrate 800 years since the city was granted a Royal Charter by King John in 1212, allowing York to take charge of its financial affairs, trade freely and create a council led by a mayor to manage the city's affairs, laying the foundations of local democracy for the city.

Kicking off the special programme of events for residents, visitors, and businesses to take part in and enjoy throughout 2012, the event highlighted the 58 major events already taking place across the city and issued a public invite to encourage many more being added to the programme throughout the year. Guests also saw the first showing of the York 800 film, which can be viewed at : http://youtu.be/B2GFCaxtYO4

The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of York, Councillor David Horton, commented:

"As a civic representative of the City of York, I know just how important it is that we celebrate the freedoms we were granted in order to run our city and the progressive way we have done so for the past 800 years. I'm honoured to be part of such a significant year and look forward to us showcasing just what York has to offer, to the world."

Kersten England, chief executive of City of York Council, added:

"York 800 is an incredibly exciting time for this city to be celebrating, as the UK's best place to visit, live, work, study and invest. 

"There will be so much happening that we hope that every resident will experience something related to York 800, that visitors will take away special memories of our city, and that businesses elsewhere will see the 'York offer' and want to be an active part of this innovative city of the future."

Councillor Sonja Crisp, the council's executive member for leisure and inclusion, said:

"York people were given their voice in 1212 and we want as many people as possible to use it to full effect this year. York 800 is all about understanding the key role that our city has played over its long and exciting history, creating a sense of belonging in the city of today, and moving towards a confident future for the city.

"Our York 800 will evolve as the year goes on and we would still love to hear from residents, businesses or other organisations who would like to suggest and arrange an event for the programme!"

Further information and the programme of events can be found at www.york800.com and residents, businesses and visitors are encouraged to send their events and ideas to  york800@york.gov.uk.

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