Experts Unveil Plan To Boost York City
Plans to revitalise York's economy have been unveiled in a report prompted by heavy job losses in the past year.
The Future York Group was set up by the city council after chocolate makers Terry's and Nestle, insurer Norwich Union and British Sugar announced cuts.
The independent group warns that without urgent action "last summer's crisis situation will be faced again".
It calls on the council to ensure improvements to the city's commercial, leisure and transport infrastructure.
The group, made up of local business, government and education experts, says the the city's economy has the potential to double by 2026.
If the council acts now, 18,000 new jobs could be created in the city by 2016, it adds.
The report recommends:
* Development of the York Central and British Sugar sites for a mix of uses close to the historic city centre and linked to sustainable rail services.
* Successful completion of the University of York's expansion at Heslington East to support growing numbers of science and design-led businesses.
* Dualling of the northern ring road, providing improved journey times, reduced congestion and access to key development sites.
* Provision of a flagship department store, together with a wide range of leading shops in a development of high quality design at Castle Piccadilly.
* The creation of new world-class attractions, demonstrating the ambition of the city, and encouraging discerning visitors.
* Improved streets and public spaces spectacular both by day and night, with an exciting programme of events and activities for residents and visitors.
* Development of world-renowned modern buildings and structures to demonstrate the city's future vision and ambition.
* Provision of significant numbers of affordable family homes to match the growth in jobs.
* City businesses and residents to be served by45-minute journey times to international airline connections.
"We conclude that, if the city does not act to take advantage of current economic and business opportunities, York will fall back in relation to other areas," the report says.