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New proposals for public square with statue of The Queen outside York Minster

The Minster has unveiled draft proposals for a new public square outside its west end, the first in the city for nearly 200 years, which will be dedicated to Her Majesty.

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Image Credit: Jack Cousin

York Minster has revealed plans for a new public square outside its west end, which will be dedicated to Her Majesty The Queen and feature a life-sized statue of the monarch.

The proposals, announced today, come as part of the Minster's wider Neighbourhood Plan and the square would be the first in the city for nearly 200 years. Queen Elizabeth Square, as it will be known, will be designed to serve as a civic and ceremonial area for the county and will be pedestrianised and landscaped for the public.

A life-sized statue of The Queen will be installed on one of the empty niches at the front of the Minster to honour the longest-reigning monarch. It will be carved by the Minster's own world-leading stonemason team based at the Stoneyard. The square will be part of an initiative to improve Duncombe Place at the west end of the cathedral.

The square is part of Phase One of the Neighbourhood Plan. Other development in Phase One include: a new cafe on the south side; a new ticket office and welcome area for visitors; a dedicated cycle path at Deangate; a sensory garden with access to the city walls; an improvement to the storage capacity and back of house facilities at the Minster.

The plans come after the Minster launched a public consultation about the future of the cathedral's precinct. Almost three hundred responses were received and feedback was used to inform the proposals. Commenting on the new proposals, Alex McCallion, Director of Works and Precinct at York Minster, said:

“The future of the Minster Precinct is hugely important to many people, particularly to those who live and work in the neighbourhood. An early outcome from last year’s consultation was the establishment of a neighbourhood forum to ensure that any proposals are viable, sustainable and appropriate for the precinct and the local area.

“The Precinct Neighbourhood Forum was formally adopted by City of York Council in March. Chaired by local resident Mark Calvert, the forum is now 39 strong and will ensure the Neighbourhood Plan is community-led.” On the square he added: "This is a tremendous opportunity for the city of York to create an outstanding and accessible new public square that draws people to the space and is sympathetic to the city’s history and heritage."

Further details about the project are available until midnight on Sunday 16 June here.

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