A street food market could be extended across the city centre this summer and people may be dining al fresco in the grounds of the former Minster School – as York emerges from lockdown.
Under City of York Council plans, picnic benches with umbrellas may be placed at sites around the city. Extra seating areas could also be created in Tower Gardens and at the Eye of York to make the most of the outdoors.
Tourism body Make It York is looking to reopen Shambles Market for all traders from April 12. Street food stalls could move to Parliament Street to help ease pressure on the Shambles Food Court which has been busy at times during lockdown.
Extra seating could also be installed in Parliament Street.
York BID is set to reopen its dining area in College Green, which created extra space for nearby cafes, pubs and restaurants.
According to a council report, the successful venue cost £30,000 in total last year and this year officers will apply for planning permission for the tent.
Work to be done
In a separate development, York Minster may also open an outdoor café or restaurant in the grounds of the former Minster School, which closed last year. An outdoor dining area could open this summer.
This is part of its York Minster Neighbourhood Plan. A York Minster spokesperson said: “A consistent theme emerging from public consultations on the draft York Minster Neighbourhood Plan, was public support for a café to be located within the York Minster Precinct.
“The most recent version of the draft plan, which was subject to a recent eight-week public consultation, includes a proposal to create a York Minster Refectory in one of the former Minster School buildings and to open the playing field as publicly accessible space, operated along similar lines to Dean’s Park.
“We are currently revising the draft plan to take account of comments received during the consultation.
“Once the draft plan is submitted to City of York Council this spring, it will be subject to a final round of public consultation.
“Any detailed plans will be subject to a planning application and application for listed building consent but we are hopeful that, in due course, we will be able to provide a hospitable place for locals and visitors to enjoy.”
Make It York’s plans for the next few months are outlined in a report for senior councillors and say: “[There is an] option to launch the summer programme of events early to occupy Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square and potential offerings at Tower Gardens and the Eye of York.
“Objectives are to provide an innovative and welcoming offer to residents/staycation visitors and the Yorkshire hinterland. Event will allow for and encourage dissipation of footfall and be beneficial to the city as a whole.
“To allow for managed space in the city centre from April/May Make It York will need funding support – they can provide sample costs and proposals but first need to understand if there is an in-principle support from the council.”
Temporary toilets may be installed again as the council is worried about a “potential rise in people relieving themselves in public”.
But customers will be allowed to use bathrooms in shops and restaurants when businesses reopen, in contrast to the rules last summer.