Spark:York recommended for approval

Spark:York’s application to create a social hub on Piccadilly has been recommended for approval by City of York Council’s planning department.

The project expected to have a decision in April, but was delayed due to the team making changes to their plans following consultations with local residents and businesses. These include:

–       Moving food and beverage units away from residential properties

–       Removing the live music and performance area

–       Closing outdoor areas by 9pm

Over 260 local people originally expressed an interest in space at Spark, with more than 80 formal applications submitted thus far. These range from food and drink outlets, to fashion designers, architects and estate agents. 55% of applicants are start-ups with no previous trading experience, with a further 36% looking for a platform to scale their business. These are joined by 9% of applicants who are established local businesses.

Spark:York Director Joe Gardham said: “Without significant capital we know it’s tough for people to start a business in York. The level of interest shows there is a clear demand for an affordable, relevant and supportive space where new businesses can thrive, not just survive.”

“Our prospective tenants want to be in a favourable trading environment, surrounded by businesses that reflect their own ethics, creativity and customer base. Alongside the physical space, Spark will offer free, hand-on business support and advice – drawing on a bank of local, experienced professionals.”

“Our ambition is to have a lasting economic impact on our City by building resilient, confident organisations who, after the three-year lifespan of the project, are able to secure tenancies in some of the many empty premises across the City Centre.”

The Council’s planning committee will now make a formal decision on 11th May.

Notes to Editors

For interviews with Directors or applicants, please contact joe.gardham@sparkyork.com / 07551 008631

The Council report can be found at: http://democracy.york.gov.uk/documents/s114501/Report.pdf

High resolution artist’s impressions of Spark:York can be found at: www.sparkyork.com/gallery