York’s new Roman museum could attract 500K visitors a year

Around half a million people a year could visit the planned Roman Quarter attraction in York, according to the developer.

The “immersive” experience, which will use technology to bring the city’s Roman past to life, could be in the top 10 per cent for visitor numbers of paid attractions in the UK if forecasts are correct.

York Archaeological Trust (YAT) say the development will “set York apart from competitor heritage cities”.

The scheme is yet to get planning permission from City of York Council.

But if the project goes ahead, Northern House, Rougier House and Society Bar in Rougier Street will be demolished to make way for a ten-storey development including 211 apartments, offices and a Roman visitor attraction.

It could create 450 jobs. The project is being developed by North Star and YAT.

YAT also launched the Jorvik centre, which has had 20 million visitors since it opened in 1984.

An ambitious target

The long view

Under the plans, the Roman road on Tanner Street will be restored as a public space.

David Jennings, chief executive of York Archaeological Trust, said: “York has ambitious targets to grow its flourishing tourism sector further, but it will only achieve this with product innovation – and we have 40 years’ experience of delivering that, bringing an economic impact of £27 million each year to York.

“This project has a key role to play in the local economy’s recovery from the pandemic and in further setting York apart from our competitor heritage cities.

It could generate £27m a year
History beneath our feet

“Once established on the global tourism map, we will stretch our targets to reach the top five per cent of paid-for attractions in the UK, bringing significantly higher economic value to the city.”

He added: “This is about uncovering history beneath your feet. Our visitors will be walking on a level that has been hidden for nearly 2000 years, following in the footsteps of the people of Eboracum who lived and traded on this very spot at a time when York was an important part of the Roman empire.”