Half the cash for ‘rebranding’ York will now go to ease child poverty and boost training

Cash set aside for rebranding York will now be used to tackle child poverty and boost residents’ employment skills.

In January we reported that funding of £660,000 was to be spent on developing a brand for the city.

But £300,000 of the money will now go towards helping children living in poverty in York, providing skills and training for adults, and developing renewable energy sources in the city centre – according to new council leader Keith Aspden.

A report from West Yorkshire Combined Authority said the £660,000 was earmarked for “developing a shared narrative” for York.

It was due to be spent on “3D visualisations of key developments” and “immersive technology”.

But the plans were met with criticism from some residents, who said York did not need to be marketed and that the cash could be better spent elsewhere.

Plans scrapped

Cllr Keith Aspden
Plans for the immersive digital model and a range of marketing materials have now been scrapped so money can be spent on “inclusive projects”.

Cllr Keith Aspden said:

  • Having had the opportunity to review our priorities and the project, the executive have agreed that £300,000 will be re-prioritised from marketing, for inclusive growth projects, such as strengthening the council’s approach to child poverty, greening the high street and promoting lifelong learning.

The council has already enlisted a team of expert branding consultants – including Martin Boisen from company For the Love of Place, designer Wayne Hemingway from Hemingway Design and consultant Alex Saint from Creative Tourist – to help market the city and this work will continue.

A consultation inviting residents to have their say on shaping the city’s future closed on July 9.

Emergency budget

The plans will be discussed at a council emergency budget meeting on Wednesday.

A report prepared for the meeting says:

  • Work has commenced on the York City Narrative, with the TalkYork consultation currently underway, a series of stakeholder interviews and workshops in progress, and the development of citywide steering group to guide the work.

    This will continue, and the results of the TalkYork consultation, to be reported to an executive decision session, will help influence how this refocused funding will have most impact.

    The new prioritisation means we will no longer deliver the digital immersive model or the range of marketing materials and £300,000 will be allocated to inclusive growth projects, such as strengthening our approach to child poverty, greening the high street and promoting lifelong learning, rather than marketing.