7:44am 18th January 2017
(Updated 7:53am 18th January 2017)
York’s historic Red Tower is a step nearer to transformation into a community venue having recently received planning permission and Scheduled Monument Consent. The team of local enthusiasts behind the project, Red Tower York, a social enterprise Community Interest Company, has also just signed a thirty-year lease with City of York Council, which will enable them to carry out essential restoration work. Work to install services into the 1490 building, situated on the end of the city wall between Foss Islands Road and Navigation Road, is set to start on site shortly.
The project has been gathering pace since 2015, with volunteers opening the building as a pop-up, pay-as-you-feel cafe for visitors at weekends, as well as putting on range of events for locals and visitors alike. A grant from the Local People’s Fund, managed by The Conservation Volunteers, has enabled the group to complete essential feasibility work. Since the building opened to the public, hundreds of visitors have enjoyed access to this long-disused piece of York’s heritage, and given their views which have influenced the design of the restoration.
Director and Chair of Red Tower York, Barry Beckwith, is delighted with the project having reached such an important milestone:
“We will be able to open the building as planned for York Residents Open Weekend on 28th and 29th January, where we are pleased to host the Sealed Knot re-enactment society. Following that event, we will start to install the services, as the next phase of the project”.
Cllr Keith Aspden, deputy leader of City of York Council added:
“Built in 1490, the Red Tower is an important historical asset in York. We’re delighted that this team of local enthusiasts have got behind this project, which will see the tower restored to its former glory for visitors to use for generations to come.”
The restored building will be made available to community groups and businesses to use the space for local social meetings, educational events, commercial bookings and business meetings, as well as being open for locals and visitors to enjoy a stop for tea and cakes.
Red Tower York is run by volunteers on a not for profit basis. Further details and regular updates can be found on the Facebook page, Twitter and website. The Red Tower is keen to attract new volunteers as this is a space for local people to enjoy, so please get in touch if you want to get involved at the start of this wonderful project.
Photo courtesy of jaynetheunicorn.