ORGANISERS of Spark:York say it has enjoyed a ‘really fantastic start’ in the four weeks since it opened.
The innovative but controversial new business start-up and social space, created out of old shipping containers in Piccadilly and featuring bars, restaurants, shops and even a hair salon, opened on Friday May 4.
One of its directors, Tom McKenzie, said it welcomed 10,000 visitors in the first four days, the 23 small businesses involved in the project had so far turned over in excess of £200,000 and there had been visitors from across the globe.
Eighty hours of free community workshops and events had also taken place.
He said:“It’s been a really fantastic start for the project. People seem to be engaging very positively with the space, and it’s fantastic to see a great deal of residents and local people visiting the site time and time again.
“Our businesses have got off to a very strong start in trading terms, helped in part by some beautiful weather, and as a result we will be able to reinvest in various additions to the improve the space, such as covering options for wetter months.
“This is something we are currently planning with our local civil engineering partner, RV Engineering. As a temporary project, we are here to make a big impact in a previously derelict part of our city, and so far we seem to be doing just that.”
He said the response from visitors had been ‘overwhelmingly positive,’ with many saying it was’ exactly what York has needed.”
“We will continue to focus on improving month on month and directing our efforts towards adding to York’s cultural offer and benefitting the community.”
Meanwhile, a neighbouring resident has told how his fears about noise and food smells from Spark had so far proved unfounded.
Mike Proctor said he had objected to the planning application for the complex but he now had ‘no complaints’ about either noise or smells.
He also said Spark was also cleared of customers at 11pm and his sleep was not disturbed, and Tom and fellow director Sam Leach had kept in close touch to listen to any concerns.