The York BID funds Indie York pilot project

The York BID funds Indie York pilot project

The York Independent Business Association is putting Indie York on the map; New pilot aims to boost York’s independent retailers and trade

York’s independent businesses are putting themselves on the map - the ‘Indie York’ map. A pilot project, which includes development of a new Indie York website ( and a bespoke-designed Indie York map, will deliver a directory and navigational tool to help customers and visitors locate the city's independent shops. The project currently includes 30 independent businesses and will eventually feature over 100 of York’s independent businesses. The pilot project has received funding by the York Business Improvement District (BID) and is part of the Indie York initiative which focuses on promoting York’s diverse range of independent and specialist businesses located in and around the City Centre.

The Indie York initiative was created by a group of independent business owners known as the York Independent Business Association, or YIBA, with the aim to help restore independent businesses affected by the 2015 Boxing Day floods. Nearly one year on, their ambition has widened to promote a bigger reach of York’s independent retailers and shops.

Indie York is led by YIBA Chairperson and independent business owner, Councillor Johnny Hayes MBE, who has contributed to the successful work behind the Bishopthorpe Road Traders Association and the Micklegate Business Initiative. ‘York’s independent businesses are equally as significant as York’s distinctive landmarks, attractions and cityscape,’ says Cllr Hayes, ‘the Indie York map and website will clearly identify these businesses by signposting their locations allowing visitors and residents to easily reference and find them. This will greatly benefit all our independent businesses, especially those not in clear view, operating on small margins or unable to invest in advertising.’

Andrew Lowson, Executive Director of York BID says, ‘As part of York BID’s commitment to support businesses, the BID is very keen to contribute to the Indie York initiative. The independent businesses of York are vital to our city’s commerce and lend to its character which is a main attraction for so many visitors and shoppers. The work on the pilot will position YIBA to roll out an ambitious project that will positively increase the visibility and exposure of York’s independent businesses and offerings.’

The Indie York map and website will be available to the public spring 2017 with the maps distributed at participating independent businesses, York Station and York Visitors Information Centre. Independent businesses included in the project will display the distinctive Indie York red-dotted ‘iY’ branding in their shopfront, making them easy to identify on the corresponding map and to reference on the Indie York website. The Indie York website will be mobile-friendly and further supported by Make it York on their website links section.

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