Mayoral candidate Keane Duncan has pledged to transform York’s historic waterfront under an ambitious new riverside masterplan.
Setting out his bold vision to drive regeneration in the city, Keane said he would commit mayoral investment funding to open up new areas along the banks of the Ouse and Foss if he is elected in May.
The announcement came as Keane met Max Reeves, director of the Helmsley Group, to discuss plans already in development to regenerate Coney Street and reconnect it with the river.
Keane wants to build on these plans and go even further to maximise the economic, social and environmental benefits of York’s rivers.
The Conservative candidate for next year’s first-ever mayoral election said: "The rivers are a truly golden asset for York that we should fully embrace and place at the heart of the city’s future development.
"The plans by the Helmsley Group are ambitious and I believe they will be truly transformative, not only for Coney Street but for the wider city, acting as a catalyst for further regeneration.
"The Group has my full backing and I am keen to work with them to make their vision a reality.
"Looking ahead, I want to do even more to fully maximise the benefit of the city's riverside by seizing the opportunity of our devolution deal.
“If elected as Mayor, I will bring public and private sector landowners together to devise a comprehensive riverside masterplan backed by new funding.
"Let"s embrace our devolution opportunity to fully realise the potential of the city’s spectacular waterways for recreation, jobs and living.”
Max Reeves, of the Helmsley Group, said: “Our vision for Coney Street Riverside is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to generate significant inward investment, further cementing York’s reputation as a fantastic place to visit, live and work, on both a national and an international stage.
“As mayoral candidate Keane Duncan understands, York’s riverfront is currently underutilised meaning there is a missed opportunity to create a much-needed public realm of national standing and connectivity and accessibility improvements within central York.
“It’s positive to have Keane’s support for our proposals which will honour the area’s rich heritage while sensitively taking the necessary strides required to secure its long-term future.
“We look forward to further showcasing the many positives Coney Street Riverside will bring to the area over the coming months.”
Helmsley Group’s plans for Coney Street will deliver 250,000sq ft of mixed-use retail, leisure, commercial, and residential space, a riverside walkway and the establishment of significant green and accessible public realm, both on the waterfront itself and also through the creation of new access routes between Coney Street and the riverfront.
The vision also supports the introduction of a boutique, independent retail experience, alongside the creation and rejuvenation of the historic lanes and passageways joining Coney Street and the River Ouse together, helping to make the riverfront accessible to all.
The plans are the realisation of a 50-year ambition to create a riverside walkway and will further bolster York’s recently secured title as the best city to visit in the UK.