23 May 2018
PLANS to bring the 2021 Rugby League World Cup to York, a reinvigorated York Business Week and a “frenzy of festivals” are all among the latest plans by Make it York to boost the city’s economy.
The self titled “destination management organisation” is today unveiling its latest strategy to more than 300 business leaders from across the city’s business, culture and tourism industries as it hosts its three year review.
As well as looking ahead, Make it York will also re-cap the successes it has achieved since being set up by City of York Council three years ago to spearhead the city’s business, science, culture and tourism sectors.
Make it York’s managing director Steve Brown will reveal the organisation’s tourism strategy, under the Visit York banner, is on track to create a £1 billion sector by 2025. Mr Brown will tell the audience the city has never had such a” jam-packed festival programme”, with world-firsts arriving this summer such as Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre.
At the conference, being held at the Principal York, delegates will also hear about Bloom! – York’s new city-wide celebration of its rich cultural heritage – the brain-child of Make It York and supported by the York Business Improvement District. And showcasing York’s status as a UNESCO city of media arts, in September, York Mediale, a brand new international media arts festival will run for ten days.
Guest speakers at today’s conference include Tamsin Hart-Jones, York Central Partnership Project Manager and James Cundall, Chief Executive, Lunchbox Productions, who will outline plans for Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre. Key priorities for the year ahead include highlighting York’s hospitality sector through the inaugural York Hospitality Awards, to be held at the Everyman cinema in September.
Later in the year, in November, York Business Week promises to be the “best yet” and Make It York has plans to run a “world class” conference, highlighting the exceptional things happening within the city’s business sector. Mr Brown will also hint at the possibility for York to be involved with the Rugby League World Cup in 2021.
Jon Flatman, chairman of York City Knights, said: “The new Community Stadium will for the first time give York the opportunity to bid for national and international sporting events. “ Working with partners across the city, we’re excited to be exploring bringing elements of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup to the city, which could potentially deliver economic, health and community engagement benefits.”
By December this year plans are afoot to launch a new cultural strategy, steered by the Cultural Leaders Group and overseen by Make It York. Connected to this are plans for a new creative strategy, aimed at developing the conditions in which creative industries can thrive. Mr Brown said: “There seems to be a frenzy of festivals this year but behind all of this there is also a serious amount of strategy work taking place.
“A key priority for our work going forward is to create a truly ambitious vision and plan for the city’s cultural future. Other priorities for the year ahead will be supporting new businesses, raising our game on social media, working with the York BID to attract new retailers to York and producing a talent retention plan for York. Not to mention capitalising on being crowned the Best Place to Live by The Sunday Times, a superb opportunity for the city.”
Jane Lady Gibson, chairwoman of Make It York, said: “Increasingly all the ingredients are in place for York to fashion a positive future. With so many ambitious projects such as York Central, Castle Gateway and York Community Stadium, combined with accolades such as the Sunday Times Best Place to Live 2018, there has never been so many great opportunities for the city.”
This article is courtesy of The Press, please visit their website for more local news.
15 May 2018
Lower Stamp Duty In The North Sees Rental Stock Levels Rise by 19%
- Average rents in the North fell -0.3% in April compared with the same period last year – the first year-on-year fall for 4 years
- Meanwhile rental growth accelerated in the South to 2.2% in April 2018, buoyed on by increases in London (2.2%) and the East (3.6%)
- The average cost of a new let reached £953 pcm in Great Britain in April, 1.9% up on the same period last year
- Average rents in the South rose to £1,372 pcm in April, 2.2 times more than the average rent in the North (£622 pcm), although this largely reflects property price differences
The Hamptons International Monthly Lettings Index (formerly the Countrywide Lettings Index) shows that in April the average cost of a new let in the North fell for the first time since 2014. Rents in the North fell -0.3% in April 2018 compared to the same period last year, meanwhile rental growth accelerated in the south to 2.2%. (table 1).
From the table below, we can also see that stock levels rose in the North by 19% year on year, whilst they reduced by -16% in the south. Given that the number of homes available to rent in the North has increased so significantly, the small reduction in rental income is relatively low.
TABLE1: North / South Rents & Stock Levels:
Across Great Britain average rents rose by 1.9% year-on-year in April to reach £953 pcm. Since April 2016 when the stamp duty surcharge for second homeowners was introduced, the number of homes available to rent has fallen in the South, but stock levels have been more resilient in the North. Over this period of time, landlords have sold 82,000 more homes than they bought in the South, compared to 24,000 net sales in the North. As a result, in April 2018 there were 5% fewer homes available to rent across Great Britain than in April 2016.
Rents in the North East have been falling for the last five months, meanwhile stronger rental growth in the South was spurred on by the East (the top performing region last month) and London where rents rose 3.6% and 2.2% respectively. In the capital, rental growth slowed in inner London to 1.9% whereas rents increased 2.3% in outer London. (table 2).
TABLE2: New Lets (pcm)
Rents rose in six out of eight regions, with Scotland (-5.3%) recording the third consecutive month of
falls. The North (-0.3%) was the only other region to record falling rents. Meanwhile Wales saw the
second fastest rental growth across Great Britain with the average cost of a new let rising 3.4% year-on-year
in April. Average rents in the Midlands grew 2.4% over the month.
Commenting Aneisha Beveridge, Research Analyst at Hamptons International, said:
“Low stock levels in the South continue to drive rental growth as tenants compete for fewer available homes. Since April 2016, the month the stamp duty surcharge was introduced for second homeowners, landlords across Great Britain have sold 88,000 more homes than they bought. But landlords are finding new ways to maximise their returns by purchasing properties elsewhere, particularly further North in search of lower stamp duty bills and higher yields.
“Across Great Britain rental growth picked up last month to 1.9%, with the East being the top performing region (3.6%). London has seen a reversal of fortunes with rental growth averaging 2.7% so far this year compared to -2.0% in the same period last year. This growth has been driven by inner London with average rents rising 4.1% so far this year.”
6 May 2018
TWO major housing developments in York are a step closer to millions of pounds of government grants.
As many as 3,800 new homes could be possible under the schemes at the city centre York Central site, and at a new “garden village”.
Housing Secretary Sajid Javid announced today that both York’s bids to the Housing Infrastructure Fund – totalling £67 million – have made it through to the final stage of the competition for funds.
York council leader Ian Gillies said: “This is excellent news, and welcome recognition from the government of York’s efforts to speed up the building of good quality, appropriate housing developments in York.”
The two developments are a key part of the city’s Local Plan, he added, and government cash could help bring a mix of much-needed new homes to the city more quickly.
At York Central, a £57 million grant would help pay for the access road and complex infrastructure – adding to money already promised by the West Yorkshire Transport Fund for the 2,500 homes the site could provide.
The Clifton Gate £10 million bid would fund vital access works and improvements including an upgrade to Clifton Moor roundabout, new access roads to the site, a subway for pedestrians and cyclists, and a pedestrian bridge leading in to the 1300 home site.
Developers for both welcomed the news, saying it was a “huge vote of confidence” for their plans. A spokesman for the Clifton Gate Consortium added: “It is no coincidence that York was recently judged as the best place to live in the UK. That’s why Government funding like this is so important to supporting the city’s housing ambitions.”
York Outer MP Julian Sturdy said he had long believed that Clifton Gate – which is situated north of Clifton Moor and the A1237 and west of Wigginton Road – would need infrastructure upgrades. A masterplan for York Central went on show to the public in an exhibition at the National Railway Museum. Staff are there to answer questions every Tuesday 11am to 1pm, Thursday 2.30pm – 5.30pm, and Saturday 11am – 3pm.
This article is courtesy of The Press, please visit their website for more local news.
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1 May 2018
Hosted by presenter Phil Spencer for the 15th year running, the ESTAS is an independent national award scheme dedicated to recognising exceptional estate and letting agents across the country. What makes these awards so important is that the winners are decided purely on the basis of customer feedback.
Countrywide is honored to have been awarded the 47 awards at leading ESTAS awards ceremony, held on Friday 19 April. Nominated for a record 110 ESTAS awards this year, Countrywide was awarded the top accolade of Best Large Estate Agency Group reflecting their position as the biggest residential estate agency and lettings network in the country.
This year over 36,000 customers contributed to customer services ratings – a measure of just how personal and important buying, selling and letting a home is for people; and how important estate and letting agents are to helping customers achieve their goals.
Commenting on the success at this year’s ESTAS, Paul Creffield, Group Operations Director at Countrywide, said: “I am delighted at Countrywide’s triumph at this year’s ESTAS and could not be happier for the team, the awards are a fantastic reflection of the effort and hard work on behalf of our customers.
This award is particularly special because the ESTAS are a result of thousands of votes cast by the customers themselves around the UK – and this award confirms that our colleagues live up to our exceptionally high standards of customer service.
This is a huge achievement for us and I would like to offer my sincerest thanks and congratulations to the entire team.”
To see the full results and list of winners for each category, please click here: ESTAS AWARDS 2018 WINNERS
For more information on both sales and letting services offered by the Countrywide Group, please contact Alexis Hanford or Jane Paver on 01904 652729, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com