Proposed new terms to be included in the Service Specification


The following are objectives to be achieved by Make It York as a Teckal Company, for the purposes of public and procurement law in the United Kingdom, through the provision of the Services:

(a)          contribute to the stronger co-ordination and promotion of the city of York's profile and cultural offer taking every opportunity to articulate York’s brand position, regionally, nationally and internationally;

(b)          work towards increasing the value of the visitor economy through promoting innovation and higher quality in the existing offer, encouraging high value visitor economy investment and attracting higher spending visitors;

(c)           nurture new cultural ideas and initiatives;

(d)          create entrepreneurial partnerships to bring projects to life, reducing duplication and displacement of private sector activity in the fields that Make It York works in;

(e)          generate income from activities to support the delivery of the business plan and these Objectives; and

(f)            work with the Council and other partners to attract funding to support and enhance the delivery of the activities set out below.



1              General

1.1          Develop and deliver agreed initiatives and programmes within the remit of the areas set out in this agreement that further the Council’s strategic priorities.  These initiatives and programmes will further articulate York’s narrative, fill identified gaps in provision not addressed by other providers and must not duplicate or displace other existing or potential provision.

1.2          Develop a detailed annual business plan for Make It York, liaising with the Council to ensure that all activities are consistent with the Council’s priorities.

1.3          Provide regular and timely advice for Council senior managers as required on remits relevant to these Service Specific Requirements and summarising what has been submitted in a quarterly narrative report.

1.4          Represent York on operational working groups relevant to these Service Specific Requirements as agreed with the Council.

1.5          Undertake research and business intelligence required in order to successfully fulfil the obligations set out in these Service Specific Requirements.

1.6          Ensure coherent local communications and press releases that further articulate the narrative, in alignment with the Council’s Marketing & Communications Team.

1.7          Work co-operatively in areas where the Council or commissioned partners remain the lead organisation responsible, but the remit is overlapping with these Service Specific Requirements.

1.8          Make business cases to the Council, in writing, for activities, initiatives or investment proposals that are not currently part of the SLA  where Make It York considers they would support the Objectives set out in Part 1 of this Schedule, and would add to or enhance these Service Specific Requirements set out here.

1.9          Collect relevant data, including user feedback, to evidence performance against the Objectives set out above, and the Outcomes set out below, as well as these Service Specific Requirements.

2              Economic Development

2.1          Though Make It York is not expected to provide specific resource for economic development activity, it will play an important role in promoting York as a business location through all its activity and in particular in its marketing activities.

2.2          Make it York will work with the Council to signpost businesses and inward investors to a ‘single front door’ approach within the Council for businesses and start-up, to make it easy for all businesses to access this front door and to promote a positive business environment in York through supporting and developing appropriate networks and other initiatives.

3              Visitor Economy

3.1          Key Deliverables:

·                     Destination Management Organisation  – promotion of York as a leisure and business visitor destination; running the Visit York membership scheme; liaison with LEP, Visit Britain, Welcome to Yorkshire, etc. to make the most of all available support and contribute to national and regional marketing initiatives.

·                     Tourism sector development – working with tourism sector businesses to increase their productivity and help them become even better employers; provision of sector intelligence through a monthly report.   

·                     Tourism Advisory Board (“TAB”) – Convene the TAB as a representative body for all those involved in the tourism sector, and contribute to the development of a new Tourism Strategy.

3.2          Outcomes (to be set or confirmed in Tourism Strategy)

(a)          Destination Management Organisation  – increase in visitor numbers and hotel occupancy and room count to be specified in Tourism strategy and agreed by the TAB; aim for growth in Visit York membership of 2% year on year in post pandemic York;

(b)          Tourism sector development –  Aim for 5% Gross Value Added (“GVA”) increase shown in the Office of National Statistics (“ONS”) Local Authority Level Statistics across 3 years of agreement if practical when taking into account and fully understanding the impact of the pandemic;    

(c)           TAB – TAB to meet actively each month (12 meetings per annum); and

(d)          Aim to increase average visitor spend by 5% above RPI –  Base figure to be set once the impact of the pandemic is fully understood.

Detailed delivery: Destination Management Organisation (“DMO”)

3.3          Leading on leisure marketing of York, working with Welcome to Yorkshire, national and regional bodies to make the most of York’s offer and attract visitors to the city.

3.4          Maintain and develop Visit York as a membership body supporting and developing the tourism sector.

3.5          Work with the visitor economy sector, Welcome to Yorkshire, the York Business Improvement District (“BID”) and other partners to ensure that a quality product is offered to both visitors AND residents, and that it is accessible and welcoming to all.

3.6          Encourage all York residents to enjoy the tourism and cultural offer of York including year round promotion and targeted residents’ events.

Detailed delivery: Tourism sector development

3.7          Work with tourism sector businesses to increase their productivity and help them become even better employers, paying decent wages and offering flexible employment, by promoting the adoption of the Good Business Charter. Facilitate cross-sector work to improve York centre as a destination for business, visitors and residents including:-

(a)          leading on approaches to maximise private-sector led investment into city centre improvement; and

(b)          working with the Council and with businesses to stimulate a stronger evening economy.

3.8          Attract new business tourism to the city by providing a clear and effective process for responding to conference enquiries with high quality response and support, and working proactively to attract new enquiries appropriate to the city.

Detailed delivery: TAB

3.9          Convene and facilitate a TAB for York, which brings together a diverse range of stakeholders in the sector and has an independent chair.

3.10       Take a lead in the development and delivery of a tourism strategy as part of the city’s new Economic Strategy.

4              City Centre, Events and Markets

4.1          Key Deliverables:

·         Markets  –  Day-to-day management of the Shambles Market; operation of the Market Charter on behalf of the city; in consultation with the Council, development of a new Markets Strategy; supporting new retailers to trade.  

·         City Centre vibrancy – Contributing expertise, ideas and experiences to the MyCityCentre Project, which will set the city centre strategy; working with city centre landlords, including those distant from York if they can be found, to ensure they are invested in the city. 

·         Commercial events – Keeping the city centre relevant and enticing by curating a programme of public events in the footstreets; running commercial events such as the Christmas market in a safe and sustainable manner, to generate commercial opportunities for local businesses and generate surplus for investment in the economy.

4.2          Outcomes (to be set or confirmed in City Centre Strategy)

(a)          Markets  – 5% year on year growth in surplus from Shambles Market with a commitment from the Council to support measures taken to achieve this; Year 1 creation and adoption by the Council’s Executive of a Markets Strategy leading to delivery as specified in that strategy; Year 2 onwards independent evaluation of customer sentiment to be undertaken.

(b)          City Centre Vibrancy –  to aim to help bring tenants to vacant  city centre premises as a direct result of Make It York’s engagement; serious involvement by Make It York’s staff and/or board of directors in MyCityCentre engagement and workshop sessions

(c)           Commercial events – Minimum of £500,000 generated each year through commercial events for investment (distribution to be outlined by MIY in subsequent year’s business plan); Year 2 onwards independent evaluation of customer sentiment to be undertaken.

Detailed delivery: Markets

4.3          Operate the Shambles Market and facilitate a Market Traders’ Forum.

4.4          Develop a new Markets Strategy for York which includes considering how best to use the powers in the Market Charter to support inclusive growth across the city.

4.5          Work with traders and other stakeholders to develop the market business plan in order to maximise its financial performance and continue to develop the offer.

4.6          Operate York’s market charter on behalf of the Council (in line with the Markets Policy at Appendix 1).

4.7          Maintain and update as necessary the Market Regulations (in consultation with the traders). The current Market Regulations are set out at Appendix 2.

Detailed delivery: City centre vibrancy

4.8          Make proposals to the Council for any new ideas for commercial exploitation of the Footstreets, Eye of York and Tower Gardens.

4.9          Contributing expertise, ideas and experiences to the MyCityCentre Project which will set the city centre strategy.

4.10       Contribute to the Council’s Retail Strategy, and join with the BID, Retail Forum, Indie York and others to attempt to attract appropriate new retail operators to the city.

4.11       Create a high-profile calendar of city centre festivals, activities and events ensuring that partners such as the BID are enabled to contribute. Identify times when new events would add value to the York experience and work on filling these gaps.

4.12       Promote the events calendar through all appropriate means including through highly visible city centre information.

Detailed delivery: Commercial Events

4.13       Run safe and sustainable commercial events, including specialist markets, to generate surplus for investment.

4.14       Maintain an up-to-date, comprehensive and publicly accessible overall list of events happening across York.

4.15       Provide a toolkit to allow event organisers to self-serve including guidance on event management and highlighting where permissions would be required.

4.16       Manage all enquiries from any individual or organisation requiring support / guidance with regard to putting on an event in York in the first instance

4.17       If a proposed event falls within the Footstreets, Tower Gardens or the Eye of York:

(a)          recommend  whether to permit the event;

(b)          take responsibility for ensuring that the event organiser complies with all safety and other legal requirements in the planning and delivery of the event, including referring the event to the Council’s Safety Advisory Group.

(c)           provide any appropriate management or other support to the event organiser

4.18       If the proposed event is on land other than the Footstreets, Tower Gardens or the Eye of York determine whether the event falls within Make It York's remit and objectives, and if so:

(a)          seek relevant Council approvals to proceed;

(b)          provide appropriate management or other support to the event organiser; and

(c)           if not, sign post the event organiser to web-based and other information resources as appropriate.

4.19       Work within relevant laws and regulations that exist and ensure compliance with all licenses and permissions associated with particular sites at all times.

5              Culture

5.1          Key Deliverables:

·                     Culture Strategy – An ambitious and cohesive programme of cultural development for the city covering the arts, heritage and creative industries.

·                     Events Framework – A city wide Events Framework consistent with the aims of the cultural strategy that enables the city proactively to identify the events that it wishes to host and attract and also enables the Council to respond in an informed way when opportunities are brought forward.    

·                     UNESCO designation – Ensure the people of York understand and appreciate the importance of York’s UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts status and maximise its impact.

5.2          Outcomes:

(a)          Culture Strategy – By end of Year 1: Cultural Leaders Group (“CLG”) Executive structure in place (timing to be subject to the views of and input from the CLG Strategy Steering Group) .   Action and funding plans for the strategy established and agreed.

(b)          Events Framework – By end of Year 1:  Research undertaken on cost/benefit analysis as well as relevant infrastructure issues.  By end of Year 2: Strategy in place following stakeholder consultation and adoption by the Council.

(c)           UNESCO Designation – By end of Year 1:  Stakeholder arrangements in place for i) helping to steer the designation, and ii) to involve wider city stakeholders in maximising the benefit of the designation. Year 2: submission of 2022 report meeting UNESCO requirements and widely owned plan with ambitious objectives for the next 4 years.

Detailed delivery: Culture Strategy

5.3          Drive an ambitious and cohesive programme of cultural development for the city covering the arts, heritage and creative industries

5.4          Work with the CLG to lead on the development and evaluation of the Culture Strategy, ensuring full engagement with other city strategies and plans, including the Local Plan, Skills, Tourism, Events, and Economic Strategy.

5.5          Deliver/commission events both for the creative sector and for others, e.g. Culture Awards, Business Week that are profile raising, increase collaboration and demonstrate best practice.

5.6          Convene and support the CLG as the strategy “owners”, providing the secretariat and driving the agenda, resourcing the partnership and co-chairing alongside an elected cultural leader.

5.7          Develop a sustainable independent executive structure and constitution for the CLG.

5.8          Receive regular strategic advice from the both the cultural and creative sectors maintaining appropriate liaison arrangements to inform the Make It York board of directors and to steer the company’s plans.

5.9          Maintain positive and comprehensive relationships with national and regional strategic support bodies.

5.10       Put together the necessary partnerships to make funding bids to deliver the Culture Strategy.

5.11       Advise and support cultural providers with regard to new initiatives liaising with the council as appropriate.

Detailed delivery: Events Framework

5.12       Work with business, visitor economy and cultural sectors in developing the Framework to ensure its fit with wider city strategies / objectives.

5.13       Bring the Framework to the Council for approval, and put in place systems to evaluate the success of the Framework.

5.14       Take the initiative in building coalitions and partnerships for specific initiatives to fill identified gaps in product e.g. to deliver the York Mystery Plays.

5.15       Engage businesses and visitors in mass participation sporting events commissioned by the Council.

5.16       When the need arises, take a lead in supporting cultural events of strategic significance e.g. Rugby League World Cup 2021.

Detailed delivery: UNESCO designation

5.17       Support the Guild of Media Arts as the focal point for UNESCO City of Media Arts designation by facilitating and undertaking activities that maximise the potential benefits of York’s UNESCO designation and ensure sustained development in line with the Four Year Monitoring Report and Plan of 2018.

5.18       Work with UNESCO Focal Point – the Guild of Media Arts – and the Council to deliver 2018-22 UNESCO Creative City objectives.

5.19       Support the focal point to convene wider stakeholder groups in the city to maximise the impact of the designation to the city.

5.20       Communicate regularly with the creative sector e.g. through mailings and social media.

5.21       Promote the creative sector through media channels highlighting York’s profile as a creative city.

5.22       Monitor and evaluate progress leading to the 2022 Report to UNESCO.

5.23       Support the Focal Point to collaborate with UK Creative Cities and other designations, UK UNESCO Commission, Media Arts Network, and Creative Cities Network.

5.24       Promote the designation within the city, e.g. through the BID, Retail and Hospitality Forums.