York’s brightest winter yet! More lights than ever to supercharge city sparkle

York at Christmas. Photograph: Charlotte Graham
16 Oct 2018 @ 4.16 pm
| Business

If you thought last winter came with added sparkle, wait till you see what’s coming.

York’s dazzling light show drew huge praise last year – and helped us take the title of Britain’s most festive city.

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York at Christmas 2018: Your complete guide

Now the York Business Improvement District (BID) and Make It York have joined forces again to put on more spectacular illuminations still.

This year the lights will twinkle across even more streets – Colliergate, Shambles Market and New Street.

And the four medieval bars will again be illuminated offering everyone a glowing entrance to the city centre.

Good for business

More streets will get the lights this year. Photograph: Carl Oliver
Real Christmas trees, covered in lights, will be located in Parliament Street, Shambles Market and St Helen’s Square.

The streets will remain illuminated until the end of February to boost the city’s appeal into the New Year and beyond.

In this way the investment in the lights helps to drive spend at shops, bars and restaurants, said executive director of Andrew Lowson.

  • When the Business Improvement District was set up, one of the core aims was to improve the appearance of the city centre.

    The winter lights give it a boost for over three months, including the busiest – and the quietest – time of the year for retailers.

    This provides a great opportunity for retailers and hospitality businesses alike to attract visitors at a time when other the streets in other city centres are looking bleak and bare once their Christmas lights have been removed.

Boon for tourism

Nowhere like it… York at Christmas. Photograph: Carl Oliver
York with added sparkle is also a boon for the tourist trade.

“York Winter Lights not only make the city look stunning on the dark evenings, they also bring visitors here especially to see them and, importantly, share the stunning images of them on their social media,” said head of Visit York Paul Whiting.

“This help further spread the word about why York really is the UK’s most festive city. The winter lighting brightens up the city after Christmas too, helping us tempt more visitors during a quieter time of year.”

This year’s Christmas Lights switch-on will take place in St Helen’s Square on Thursday 15 November, hosted by Minster FM

Winter lights in figures

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The winter lights display consists of

  • more than 15km of lights
  • more than 160,000 individual LED lights
  • illumination of two of the city’s bridges and the four historic bars
  • more than 100 real Christmas trees with lights

Last year, attraction visits and hotel occupancy levels were up year on year, there was a 13.2% increase in rail journeys to the city, footfall into the city was up by 1.3% year on year and coach bookings were up by 8%