Tourism is unsurprisingly one of our biggest industries and the industry continues to grow as more and more people visit from all corners of the globe. From the awe-inspiring York Minster to the enchanting snickelways that weave through the heart of the city, York is bursting with attractions to entertain and educate the whole family. The tourism industry sits at the heart of our city and supports and sustains hundreds of local businesses, from restaurants and hotels through to transportation networks. York attracts around 6.9 million visitors each year bringing in over £564 million in tourism spend which is of benefit to the economy of the entire city-region. York hosts several annual events which attract many visitors to the city.
The York Food Festival takes place over 10 days in September and is the perfect opportunity to dine out on a variety of cuisine, from delectable local delights, such as a Yorkshire hog roast to the outright bizarre, such as chocolate pizza. There is literally something to suit everybody’s taste buds.
The four-day Ebor Festival is one of the country’s most celebrated horse meets and is a superb social spectacle, especially when the weather stays fine. The festival attracts nearly 80,000 people over the weekend, many of whom then go on to enjoy the wider benefits the city has to offer. Amidst the ancient Roman walls which encompass the city lies a unique shopping experience, with its mix of designer labels, high-street giants, independent retailers and antique stores.
The York retail industry has shown resilience and strength during tough economic times and is worth millions of pounds to the York economy. York is not just popular with the tourists, with many businesses choosing to host conferences, dinners, product launches and other formal events in the city, taking advantage of the wide range of venues it has to offer, such as stately homes, guild halls, museums, hotels and an award-winning racecourse.
The tourism industry sits at the heart of our city and supports and sustains hundreds of local businesses, from restaurants and hotels through to transportation networks
Railways and chocolate making
More than 10,000 conferences take place in York each year and the city is particularly attractive to delegates who are able to take advantage of the city’s attractions during their stay. Up until the mid-20th century York’s industry was primarily based on the railways and chocolate making. The Nestle factory, which is famous for confectionery such as Kit Kat and Rolo, is one of York’s biggest businesses and sometimes as you walk through the city streets you may just be able to smell cocoa drifting through the air. The food and drink industry still play a key role in the region’s economy and 43,000 people in York are employed within the sector.
There are many food and drink producers based in and around the city and there is a wide selection of quality restaurants and cafes for the locals and visitors to dine out at – no trip to York is complete without paying a visit to the legendary Bettys for a pot of tea and cream cake. The Railway industry remains strong and York is the home to several leading transport companies. The city is home to the National Railway Museum, the world’s largest railway museum and winner of Best European Museum Award. The museum draws around 800,000 visitors to the city each year and is one of York’s most famed family-attractions.
York is a hub for financial services and is home to some of the world’s leading companies within the sector. Aviva (formerly known as Norwich Union) is the UK’s leading provider of insurance, pensions and long-term financial services. Also based in York is CPP, which provides financial protection and support through a variety of products and services, such as card and identity protection.
York has a strong commitment to education and is home to some of the best schools in northern England. The city has a GCSE and A-level pass rate that is well above the national average.
Up until the mid-20th century York’s industry was primarily based on the railways and chocolate making. The Nestle factory, which is famous for confectionery such as Kit Kat and Rolo, is one of York’s biggest businesses
The city is home to two outstanding universities and the city invests much time and resources in developing tomorrow’s future leaders. The University of York is consistently ranked within the top ten universities in the country and 80% of its departments are rated as world-class. Together with York St. John and other higher education establishments, York’s student population is over 21,000 – all of whom are catered for by the vibrant and cosmopolitan nightlife the city has to offer.
The University of York is a leading institute for scientific research and in partnership with City of York Council, they created ‘Science City York’, a project which aims to drive and create York business within three fast-growing science and technology sectors – bioscience, creative industries, and IT & digital. The project has created thousands of jobs in the sectors and helped York to achieve ‘Science City’ status along with five other UK cities, as well as contributing to Britain’s status as world leader in scientific innovation.
Over 100 digital and IT companies are based in York, employing over 2,400 people. The creative and IT and digital industries are the fastest growing sectors in the region and there are designated technological hubs throughout the region, in both the suburban and rural areas. The diversity of York is reflected in its contrasting surroundings.
Just a 30-minute drive to the south-west of the city is Leeds, one of the country’s leading financial cities with a world-renowned nightlife and a shopping centre to rival that of London. To the west of the city lies the beautiful spa town of Harrogate and beyond that the magnificent Yorkshire Dales National Park, with its idyllic scenery and wide range of wildlife. Accessing these surrounding areas and beyond is easy as York has excellent transport links and is well-connected to the local motorway network.
The University of York is consistently ranked within the top ten universities in the country and 80% of its departments are rated as world-class
Leading scientific city
Both Leeds Bradford International Airport and Durham Tees Valley Airport are within easy reach and provide excellent international connections, as well as daily flights to London’s airports. Similarly, the capital can be reached in as little as two hours by train, making York a fantastic location for business. York is forever evolving and its transformation from the Roman Capital of the province Britannia Inferior (Northern England) through to being a leading scientific city is a testament to the innovative and ambitious individuals that have led our city throughout the ages.
The University of York is set to double in size following the building of a brand new campus at Heslington East. This will include academic, teaching and research facilities, a new lake, student housing on the campus, new transport links into the site and landscaping. There are other large sites in the centre of they city that are ripe for development and the Hungate site has been recently redeveloped into ecological and sustainable housing that is set in a stunning location.
York’s driven and forward-thinking outlook is what makes it a fantastic place for business. There are currently just over 35,000 businesses based in York and North Yorkshire, contributing to a local economy worth in excess of £13.5bn, with potential of doubling the York economy by 2026. The city will continue to invest in training, education and skills to ensure that we have the most capable local workforce and that future development is done in such a way that drives the city forward while also conserving the city’s heritage, culture and traditions.
York is continually evolving and it is through continued investment and development that it will remain as one of the world’s most interesting and significant cities.
Living for the city!
Visitors come to York for lots of different reasons – and stay for many more
Like countless visitors before you, you’ve fallen in love with York. It’s a great city – the safest in the world, according to one survey – combining unparalleled history with a thriving social scene, good schools and easy access to the glories of the North Yorkshire countryside and coast.
So you want to make your next stay in the city permanent. Where should you start your search for a home in York? Well, it depends what you’re looking for. With the city’s unique heritage, many people are keen to live the history. If you want to combine a heritage home with all mod cons, there are several developments which offer the best of both worlds.
A stunning Georgian Crescent opposite York Theatre Royal in the city centre is now being restored to its glorious best. Built as townhouses, St Leonard’s Place was for many years home to council offices. Now the 1831 property will be turned into 40 homes, with new build mews properties at the back.
Further out, the handsome complex of buildings that once housed the Terry’s chocolate factory is also being partially redeveloped into apartments.
And in the stunning brick and stone Bonding Warehouse, apartments with the finest modern specifications have some of the best views in the city, overlooking the River Ouse.
With the city’s unique heritage, many people are keen to live the history. If you want to combine a heritage home with all mod cons, there are several developments which offer the best of both worlds
For anyone looking for the best of city centre living, York’s Guildhall ward has been named by national researchers as one of the UK’s property hotspots. This area, which includes the glorious York Minster, also encompasses large Victorian terraced houses in The Groves.
Micklegate, a broad, cobbled street on a hill, is another central area tipped to outperform the mainstream property market. A street of lively bars and independent shops, it is home to three-bedroom Victorian terraces and two-bedroom flats.
Each of York’s suburbs offers something a little different. One of the most desirable areas of the city is South Bank. Not only does it include Rowntree Park next to the river, but Bishopthorpe Road – a street of independent shops, cafés and pubs which was shortlisted for the High Street Of The Year award in 2014. With small terraced homes to large detached houses with gardens, the area is perfect for everyone from first-time buyers to families.
York’s Guildhall ward has been named by national researchers as one of the UK’s property hotspots. This area, which includes the glorious York Minster, also encompasses large Victorian terraced houses in The Grove
If schools are important to you, try the area around Fishergate near the city centre, or Huntington to the north of the city. Acomb, to the south, still retains a village feel, although it has grown into lively, bustling township.
Outside the ring road you’ll find lots of villages and towns brimming with character. Haxby has developed a new lease of life in recent years. It boasts a green, its own bakery, art gallery and even a radio station.
Dunnington, to the west, was named among the top 20 places in England and Wales to bring up a family in 2012. Escrick is a village which feels like it is in the heart of the countryside but is only 20 minutes away from the city centre, while Easingwold is a popular town with families.
From historic homes to fancy flats, there’s something for everyone here. Happy house hunting!