What is the future for York? Are we too reliant on tourist spend? Will the high street customer swing more towards the big brand or the independent retailer?
These are some of the questions put to the panel at the York Economic Forum this week as policyholders and business leaders discussed the City’s future prospects, from the 111 acre Central site to the Castle Gateway project and what these developments mean for York’s industry, business and communities.
Langleys Managing Partner David Thompson joined speakers from York St John, FERA Science, City of York Council and Northminster Limited to debate the hot topics around York’s expansion plans.
Recently voted No.1 place to live in Britain, York is seeing rapid growth across its culture, tech and media industries. With good transport links and increasing opportunities within the educational and science sectors, the City is positioning itself as a mini metropolis with big plans.
But what are the challenges? With 20,000 students and a heavy reliance on tourism, how can the City develop longer term strategies for non leisure businesses? Does the city suffer because of it’s proximity to powerhouses such as Leeds? Despite development plans, less space is earmarked for corporate use than for residential, is this putting business growth at risk?
The York Economic Forum, hosted by Insider Media, is just one way the City is seeking to raise these important questions, making sure that we address the challenges and look forward.
Talking about the event, David Thompson commented, “The forum was an excellent opportunity to explore the key issues impacting on York’s economic growth. It’s vital that our city’s businesses keep their eyes open, both for problems and also opportunities, which can be difficult to do in silos. Coming together like this not only sharpens focus, it also puts new considerations on your radar.”
There are many questions for the future of York but one thing is clear, when business leaders, policymakers and influencers come together to debate the issues, we see the emergence of ideas, the importance of collaboration and the potential for change. We are stronger than the sum of our parts.