Improved Signage & Wayfinding
The city’s old green fingerposts were showing signs of neglect. They were not maintained, often pointing in the wrong direction and with incorrect information. Businesses did not believe this is acceptable for a city that welcomes 8 million visitors a year.
In 2017, the York BID established a steering group involving businesses, the Civic Trust and City Council. As part of phase 1 of this project, wayfinding experts were commissioned to design a scheme that incorporated contemporary wayfinding design, with an aesthetic that is in keeping with the heritage of York. The primary remit was to help people get to their chosen destination as well as encourage visitors to explore periphery streets and visit locations they may not have been aware of.
Phase 2 of the project involved a pilot wayfinding totem placed in St Helen’s Square. An extensive consultation exercise was conducted with businesses, visitors, locals, disability groups and further public stakeholders. Feedback on the design and information was overwhelmingly positive. This gave the BID the confidence to make a business case for a joint funded implementation programme.
Phase 3 looked at a full implementation of the scheme. This involved the installation of approximately 50 signs, providing a ‘breadcrumb’ trail to guide visitors through the city streets. The BID Board committed £350k to this project and in February 2019 City of York Council committed £350k match funding.
The groundworks for the new wayfinding was completed in early 2020, with full installation of the signs and totems completed during Q4 of 2020 and Q1 of 2021. The removal of the old signage, which completes the project, was completed in March 2021.
The project has been brought in well under budget for a combined £475k.