SPARK:YORK HAVE stated their intention to open in spring 2018, at Piccadilly, York. The shipping container-based shopping venue will house a combination of dining locations (with a focus on street food), retail plots, and work spaces. While its initial opening date was set for September 2017, it had been delayed due to constraints on the budget.
The creation of Spark:York follows the success of the Boxpark sites in Shoreditch and Croydon, with a Wembley venue due to open later this year, though they claim their inspiration stems from shipping container installations across Europe. York's own alternative to the London brand aims to interact with and help the local community, saying on its website that "Activities and support will be offered to all, including those with additional needs, low incomes, and those suffering exclusion, isolation and loneliness."
The 24-unit space had over 10 times the applicants needed to occupy it. Successful tenants include Speakeasy Libations, Munchie's Cakeaway, Tikk's Thai Kitchen and CWTCH, a coffee brand. The focus on less widely known brands is a means of diversifying the local food scene.
Spark:York's mission is clear: "York is full of talented and visionary people. We are creating an affordable and inclusive space in the middle of town that will create opportunities for local people to realise their ambition. Whether it's a local chef with a unique culinary idea, a budding retailer who can't afford a space in town, or a volunteer who wants to take their charitable ideas to the next level; we aim to be the Spark that starts their journey."