A major project centred on one of York’s key shopping streets has been awarded nearly half a million pounds.
Street Life is a programme designed to ‘reconnect local communities with Coney Street in the city centre’.
Run by the University of York, it has won £469,000 from the Government’s £200 million Community Renewal Fund.
Street Life aims to bring the history of the city’s famous Coney Street back to life, and look ahead to York’s future.
It will include pop-up activities and virtual experiences.
The project is led by music professor Rachel Cowgill, archaeologist Dr Kate Giles and English literature professor Helen Smith.
“They want to transform the streetscape, repurpose empty units and connect retail premises with creative, heritage-led renewal,” says City of York Council.
“The planned activities will include musical performances, open-mic sessions, hands-on letterpress printing workshops and the chance to step back into York’s colourful past via amazing archives and cultural collections.”
Professor Cowgill said: “Working closely with the community, we aim to celebrate York’s rich heritage and vibrant creative spirit through innovative, immersive experiences, which will combine digital innovation and physical engagement.
“From historic coaching inn The George, where John Vanbrugh and the Brontës once stayed, to the majestic Guildhall and bustling waterfront, Coney Street has been the site of many important buildings and businesses, representing so much of what makes York unique.”
Meanwhile, another project, Archaeology On Prescription, has been awarded £122,123 by the fund.
The York Archaeological Trust will work with groups including young people out of work, adults with mental health issues, people leaving the Armed Forces and those referred by GPs.
The scheme aims to help people develop skills and improve their confidence through working with archaeological excavations.
Leader of City of York Council Cllr Keith Aspden said: “We are delighted that these two projects in York have been selected for this funding.
“The award recognises the potential we have here in York, and is a vote of confidence in the city, particularly as we build on our recovery from the pandemic.”