York BID Winter Lights

BID businesses expressed the need for a greater presence of winter lights that would stretch beyond the popular holiday market areas. In response, The York BID implemented a winter lights programme to transform our historic city to a stunning spectacle during the months of early-drawn evenings.

The BID piloted the programme in December 2016, lighting of the city’s medieval city wall bars with a cascade of shimmering drapes on Micklegate Bar, Walmgate Bar, Monk Bar and Bootham Bar. The unprecedented display showcased York's renowned structures as ‘shining gateways’ that lead to the historic attractions and businesses in and around the city walls.

Additional winter lights are part of the BID’s overall commitment to enhancing the city's inviting atmosphere, making them a must-see attraction during the holidays and throughout the winter season.  In response to the overwhelmingly positive reception (over 14,000 interactions on social media alone!)  the BID committed to extending the winter lights display for 2017's winter season.

York’s 2017 Winter Lights have been hailed a great success, helping to drive visits to the city during the off-peak tourism season. Visits to attractions and hotel occupancy levels were all up during November, December and January and the enhanced lighting scheme has proved popular with both visitors and residents alike. 

This is arguably the best ever Winter and Christmas lights display the city has seen. From November to December there was a 13.2% increase in rail journeys to the city (19 November – 23 December).  At the same time footfall into the city was up by 1.3% year on year and coach bookings were up by 8%.

To celebrate this achievement, we’ve released a short promotional video which can be viewed here. The winter lighting will continue to the end of February.

Andrew Lowson said: “The York BID in partnership with Make it York put a large investment into both Christmas and Winter Lights for 2017/18. The Winter Lights will continue right up to the end of February to brighten up the city during the dark winter months."


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