Plans approved to transform College Green into beautiful new park

The York BID are delighted to have received approval for a new park on College Green. A partnership between The York BID, York Minster and Bloom! will see College Green developed into a beautiful space with hand-carved stone seating, stepping stones, cherry blossom trees and wildflowers – and arguably the best view in York…

In the culmination of a two-year project, the BID has been working with York Minster and Bloom! on permanent improvements to College Green, with the aim of creating a beautiful family-friendly meeting place.

Andrew Lowson, Executive Director of the York BID said, ‘Creating family-friendly green space in the city centre has been a key objective since the BID first started. Finding a location hasn’t been easy, so we’re very grateful to the Minster for allowing us the opportunity to help develop College Green.’

The BID secured a government grant from the Ministry of Housing & Communities for the project, as well as committing funds themselves and accessing a legacy fund from the Bloom! floral festival. This funding has been matched by York Minster who own College Green.

Canon Michael Smith, Pastor at York Minster, said, ‘This city partnership project will see College Green transformed into a welcoming, accessible and beautiful space for the local community. The design is influenced by the Great East Window and the Quire Aisles of York Minster and the planting will reinforce biodiversity and create new habitats for insects, birds and mammals bringing nature into the heart of the city.’

‘It will stand in the shadow of York Minster as a memorial of the pandemic, a beautiful space to remember loved ones who died and to give thanks for the staff of the NHS, other carers and all key workers who helped us through difficult times. College Green will become a more beautiful meeting place, reminding us that simple friendship and contact are at the heart of what it is to be human.’

The design was developed by local companies, PWP Design and Unconventional Design. The design includes seating and low-level play features which will be crafted by stonemasons at the Minster Stoneyard. The stone features and sculptures will combine with wildflower beds to create a unique and lovely space to meet with loved ones or spend a few quiet moments.

Simon Hall from PWP Design said, ‘PWP Design are a Yorkshire based, creative landscape architecture practice.  Our team are proud to be the designers for the proposed Pocket Park at College Green. It’s a truly stunning location in the heart of York, with York Minster as its backdrop and demands a high quality, engaging landscape response. The resulting design has been developed collaboratively with York BID and York Minster. The process started with our design competition winning  concept, which PWP Design created with input from York based Unconventional Design and has since evolved into a detailed design.  We believe the proposals will breath new life into this important green space, welcoming residents and visitors to spend time, take in the views and interact with the landscape.’

Clare Palmer from Unconventional Design said: ‘We are honoured to have played a role in such an exciting new space in our home town that encompasses both the integrity of its surroundings as well as York’s need for some creative play space.’

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director of Make It York, said: ‘We’re delighted that we have the green light for the new College Green Pocket Park. Under our Bloom! festival legacy project, we’ve worked in partnership with York BID and York Minster for nearly two years to re-imagine the space for families, residents and families to enjoy. It will be a great addition to our city centre and we’re looking forward to the space opening in Spring 2022.’