Following a substantial programme of design, landscaping and new planting, York Minster’s popular College Green reopened today as a vibrant green space in the heart of the city of York.
The BID had been looking for spaces in the city to create a family-friendly park, and spear-headed the project, working in close partnership with York Minster’s Head of Precinct to deliver the park.
The opening ceremony for the park was performed by the Dean of York, the Very Revd Dominic Barrington who blessed the park and cut a ribbon to welcome back the public to the area since it closed in September 2022.
Local company PWP Design has created an open and welcoming design with hard landscaping elements including new seating, low-level play features for families and fully accessible paths. The apex of the cathedral’s Great East Window was the inspiration for the design of the new stone bench at the centre of the park.
All of the trees, shrubs and flowers have been specifically selected to attract pollinators, wildlife and for their sensory and well-being properties. Grass and wildflower turf will provide colour and scent throughout the spring and summer.
The project was jointly funded by the BID who secured a grant from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in 2019, a legacy provided by the Friends of York Minster, York Minster Fund, Friends of York Minster, and a legacy Bloom! fund from Make it York.
The Dean of York said: “This spectacular makeover has transformed College Green. Through the delivery of our Neighbourhood Plan, our goal is to increase public access to green space with increased planting and seating throughout the Precinct. This new space is welcoming and accessible for residents and visitors and we hope will attract the wildlife and pollinators that are crucial for restoring biodiversity in the Precinct. It will be fascinating to observe the park as it changes through the seasons and as it matures in coming years.”
Andrew Lowson, Executive Director of York BID said: “Having green space in the city is important as it encourages local people in particular to stay and dwell, which in turn supports business. The area has been designed to be as inclusive as possible, with improved wheelchair access, improved seating and the addition of stepping stone features for children to play on. We are confident it will be popular with families for years to come.”