Squatters move in to vacant York shop

New occupiers… That's Entertainment on Coppergate. Photographs: Flynn Burgess
22 Aug 2016 @ 7.35 pm
| News

Squatters have apparently moved in to an empty shop in York city centre.

A notice has appeared on the door of the former branch of That’s Entertainment on Coppergate claiming the property as the home of the people inside.

It states:

Take notice:

That we live in this property, it is our home and we intend to stay here

That at all times there is at least one person in this property

That if you attempt to enter by violence or by threatening violence we will prosecute you.

The windows of the shop have been whitewashed and the doors barricaded shut. YorkMix called round and attempted to talk to the people inside but no one responded.

Another notice put up in the window is for Food Not Bombs, a group that provides free food for everyone in St Helen’s Square, every Friday night at 8pm and Sunday afternoon at 4pm.

The notice says: “In a world where so much food is wasted nobody should go hungry. Food is a human right, and should be accessible for all, not withheld and used for the profit of a few.”

The notices pasted to the window of the shop
The notices pasted to the window of the shop

That’s Entertainment moved in to 10 Coppergate in November 2014. The DVD, CD and computer retailer only lasted six months before it closed in May last year.

Previous occupants of the property including Sofa Workshop and Cycle Republic.

Last week City of York Council granted MTK Holdings permission to change the building’s use from a shop to a restaurant or café. The design and access statement submitted to the council said no end user had been identified to take over the premises.

This is not the first time that squatters have moved into buildings in the centre of York.

A group called the York Peace Collective first hit the headlines in April 2003 when they occupied the old White Swan Hotel building in Piccadilly to protest against the “waste” of disused properties in York.

The following year members of the same group later squatted in Bonding Warehouse on Skeldergate.