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VIDEO - Make it York plans new arts festival and website


1:09pm 16th May 2017
(Updated 3:56pm 16th May 2017)

Three hundred leaders from the York business, culture and tourism community have been hearing the latest news from York’s Destination Management Organisation, Make It York.

The audience have been told how the York Mediale, the city’s new International Media Arts Festival, planned for October 2018, will engage over 100,000 people in cutting edge media arts, designed to capitalise on the city’s UNESCO City of Media Arts status.



York Mediale, a biennial festival, will be developed by Creative Director,Tom Higham, (Pictured with Jane Lady Gibson)  through a new community interest company, working closely with the York Guild of Media Arts and in partnership with a range of organisations across York, the UK and internationally.

“York Mediale is about grasping this opportunity that UNESCO status offers for York and showcasing York’s creative talent in areas such as digital art, gaming, film and computer animation.

It’s a chance to develop a world class international media arts festival for York.”


VIDEO - Why Make it York matters to the city


Since its formation two years ago, Make It York has been marketing the city as a brilliant place to live, visit, study, work and do business.


Make it York 2017


On the business front, a new Business Ambassador Programme has been launched at the meeting, which will harness the skills and influence of fifty of the city’s senior business executives.

The scheme will encourage York’s top entrepreneurs to promote the city for inward investment and relocation.

Geoff Davidson, Director, Arup, said,

“Having an office in York brings great resource and opportunity to Arup.

I am proud to lead our presence here and can testify to the city’s attraction as a place to do business.

I am looking forward to acting as an ambassador for the city and hope to contribute further to the wider success of York.”

On the tourism front a new website will be launched in the Autumn, delivered by leading digital agency, New Mind tellUs, appointed to deliver a world class website for the 21st century.

Visityork.org already generates over a million unique users each year but with competition from across the globe, Make It York will this year be investing to ensure York has one of the best tourism websites in the country.

Fully responsive, visityork.org will target local, national and international visitors, with a new mobile first experience. It will lead on visual content through film and new personal itinerary building options.

Sally Greenaway, Head of Visit York, a part of Make It York, said,

“61% of visitors are now searching for information on their mobile devices.

We need to ensure York’s tourism website is slick, efficient and quite simply world class.

We are excited about this step change to provide a first class digital experience for every single visitor, for today and the future.”

Internationally, tourism marketing activity will be focussed at audiences in the United States, Europe and China and early discussions with Hainan Airlines could see an Expo for York in Beijing early next year.


Make it York 2017

Chair of Make It York, Jane Lady Gibson, said,

“We have had a very focused plan of activity to grow the economy, delivering on a variety of projects to increase inward investment, support the agri-food sector and launching a major tourism campaign following the Boxing Day flooding.

Businesses from right across the city and beyond have worked tirelessly with us to support projects which are now paying dividends across a whole range of sectors.”


Other initiatives in the pipeline, include the ambition to bring a Balloon Fiesta to York this Autumn, an event which would see up to fifty hot air balloons filling the skies above York racecourse and plans to help Lunchbox Theatrical Productions to bring an exact replica of Shakespeare’s Globe to the city next summer.


What is Make It York

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.

The company’s 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


Key tourism facts

6.9 million visitors annually, £564 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 *£5.07billion (GVA), supporting around 8,790 businesses and 116,000 jobs. *figures from the Office of National Statistics.


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