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York King's Square Work Delayed Until After Summer

Kings Square 170513

5:27pm 31st May 2013

Key retailers in York have today backed City of York Council’s decision to postpone the works to transform one of York’s most popular city centre public spaces.

Following several consultation meetings with retailers the 12-week first phased programme of works to repave and remodel King’s Square will now start the first week of September.  

To ensure retailers gain maximum benefits in the lead up to Christmas, works will be complete before St Nicholas Fair during the week of 28 November. The second phase of works to reconstruct the highway will now be carried out in Spring 2014.

The scheme will improve pedestrian access, provide additional seating and ample space for performers. The council has been praised by retailers for ensuring they have been an integral part in any key decisons made.

Councillor Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Planning, Sustainability and Transport at City of York Council, said: “We’ve listened to retailers and taken on board their views during the process of this scheme. King’s Square is the first of six Reinvigorate York schemes, so it’s fundamental that we ensure this sets a good precedent in terms of organising the work going forwards.

“By transforming King’s Square we are maximising the benefits for residents, visitors and businesses. The square needs quite a radical rethink to make it a world-class space and by carrying out this transformation we are going to provide a much better quality public space.”

Sir Ron Cooke, chair of Reinvigorate York, said: “The agreed timescale for the major works in King’s Square pragmatically aims to minimise the disruption to traders, especially during the busy summer months.”

Paul Thompson, Barnitts Ltd, said: “Personally I am pleased to hear the council have taken on board all the concerns of the Kings Square and Colliergate businesses regarding the regeneration of Kings Square - I appreciate they have listened  to all our concerns on such short notice.”

Kevin Smith, Director of Attractions at Continuum Group, the company behind York’s CHOCOLATE Story, commented: “Since opening last year, York’s CHOCOLATE story has made itself very much at home in King’s Square, offering visitors a fascinating and entertaining insight into York’s rich chocolate heritage.

“The summer months are a key trading period, with the city welcoming an even higher number of visitors than usual. We appreciate that City of York Council and Reinvigorate York has taken this into account and that building work on the square will be moved to later in the year.  We are very much looking forward to the reinvigoration of the square and welcoming tourists and locals to the attraction throughout 2013.”

Matt Moore, manager of The Last Drop Inn, said: “We’re really pleased how the council responded to our initial fears. Working together to improve our city benefits us all and we felt a certain degree of ‘teamwork’ was achieved. The same team that will look forward to the potential of the new Kings’ Square and how we can all contribute to its presence and what we do with it in the future.”

Frank Wood, Chairman of the York Retail Forum, said: “Following very real concerns from businesses in and around King’s Square, I was delighted that the council attended a meeting of those businesses, to listen to concerns and discuss ways of mitigating the potential damage that could have been caused by the closure of Kings Square.

“The council have been very cooperative and sensitive to the needs of the companies and have sanctioned the implementation of those plans, completing the very necessary work, in a staged way, to minimise any adverse effects. I would like to thank the council for their sympathetic and considerate way of dealing with an important matter for the benefits of the local businesses.”

Reinvigorate York will provide a lasting legacy, enhancing the public realm and supporting city centre retailers and attractions.

For more details about the scheme please visit www.york.gov.uk//reinvigorateyork

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