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Agenda item

Formal Meeting Part 1 - Discussion on Acomb Front Street Regeneration

There will be an opportunity to have you say on the regeneration of Front Street, Acomb, with Neil Ferris, City of York Council’s Corporate Director of Economy & Place


19:10 - Acomb Front Street Regeneration

Cllr Andrew Waller stated that there were currently efforts to bring together independent traders to talk up the area and that there had been discussions about developing the pavement/pedestrianisation.  He recommended the book “Happy City” by Charles Montgomery, which contains discussions on how places can be developed as social hubs.  Cllr Waller stated that a more family-friendly layout has been requested, and that there is also a need to recognise that there will be an increase in the amount of elderly accommodation in the city.

Neil Ferris, City of York Council’s Corporate Director of Economy and Place, then presented an outline of the project.  He stated that he was responsible for servicing and maintaining the physical environment and that as the community belonged to residents it is important to understand their current feelings.  He stated that what is important is to understand the residents’ aspirations and concerns for the place. 

Neil Ferris stated that an executive has made the decision to invest £50,000, which is intended to start the process of articulating the vision for the regeneration and that envisioning that piece of work would begin tonight.  It will not be a case of overnight development, but successive years of budgets and developments.

A resident asked for clarification on what was meant by Front Street.  Neil Ferris stated that it is about the retail part.  He said that other councils such as Halifax and Huddersfield have been shrinking their city centres due to lack of demand and while York city centre remains a shopping destination, secondary shopping areas in York do not have the same pull.  He stated that they would not define boundaries to the vision today as it would be too constraining.

A resident asked what kind of economic assessment evidence this would be based on.  Cllr Waller stated that City Beautiful had previously had a disconnect with the public and there were opportunities missed.  Neil Ferris stated that funding bodies do not have a formula that stacks up well and that the local authority is looking at a much broader social outcome in terms of revitalising the area.


19.20 – All attendees were invited to come over and put suggestions/their aspirations for the area on post-it notes on a map of the local area.


19.40 – Meeting reconvenes.

Cllr Waller stated that there were a few announcements to make.  Replacement recycling nets were available at the back of the room.  He also wanted to check that everyone had received a copy of the Ward Ballot.  These need to be returned by 24th July.

Neil Ferris stated that he will make sure that the comments collected at this meeting are available at the next.


At this moment Cllr Waller invited ward funding applicants present in the room to give short presentations about their projects.

The Chill In The Community gave a presentation on their work.  Every Tuesday 12pm – 7pm people can attend and are free to pay what they like.  Leftover food is donated to a food bank.  The café also does sessions for those with additional needs.  They would like word to spread as they are currently trying to raise money for an upstairs section of the café.  There are also more people they are keen to engage with, in particularly ex-servicemen who have been sleeping rough within the community.  For more information see their website at: www.chillinthecommunity.co.uk


Cllr Hunter stated that the neighbourhood section of Yorkshire In Bloom is due to be judged on the afternoon of 18th July and that if anyone is available to help clean it is needed at 09:00 on Sunday and 12:00 on Monday.  She asked if anyone has flower tubs on display to make sure that they look pretty.  The Chill In The Community stated that they have been wanting to put an edible herb garden out on Front Street but have been told that they cannot put plants on Front Street.  Cllr Hunter stated that she would follow that up for the café with Highways and Maintenance.  A resident asked if they could put bunting up on 18th July and Cllr Hunter confirmed that they could.


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