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Following a substantial programme of design, landscaping and new planting, York Minster’s popular College Green reopens today (Friday 31st March), as a vibrant green space in the heart of the city of York.
The opening ceremony for the park will be performed by the Dean of York, the Very Revd Dominic Barrington, who will bless the park and cut a ribbon to welcome back the public to the area for the first time since it closed in September 2022.
Once an uninspiring area of turf, College Green has been transformed, thanks to close working partnership between the Minster’s Project Manager and the team at York BID, who had a shared ambition to enhance green space in the city. 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 Dean of York said: “This new public space is the result of excellent partnership working with the Chapter of York, York Minster Fund, Friends of York Minster, York BID and Make it York. I am grateful to York BID who in addition to committing their own funds to the project, also secured a grant from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in 2019. A legacy given to the Friends of York Minster by Terry Fowler, a long time active member, funded the creation of the stone bench and the wonderful grass and wildflower turf has been provided by local company Lindum. I commend the creativity of PWP Design for their outstanding design and landscaping work.
Dominic continued: “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.”
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