When I had heard the plan for Spark last year I was so excited, so visiting this weekend and seeing what an incredible job the team have done really blew me away. I’ve visited a few of the box parks in London and loved them, but Spark has created something far superior. Here the design feels open and inviting, more like an urban garden, not claustrophobic like the others. Throw in a bucketload of Yorkshire enthusiasm and charm and you’ve got something very special!
I think the city needed this so much, some sharp edges to contrast the weatherbeaten stones. I’d imagined angry hoards of stuffy York purists guffawing at the atrocity of it all, but in fact it has blown everyone away. Yesterday it was packed out with all kinds of people enjoying the sunshine and taking it all in. I saw friends enjoying drinks on the terrace, families picnicking next to the colourful wall murals and overheard pensioners marvelling at how wonderful it all was.
I saw friends enjoying drinks on the terrace, families picnicking next to the colourful wall murals and overheard pensioners marvelling at how wonderful it all was.
There feels like so much choice for food and drinks, with street food from some Shambles market favourites and loads of different bars all with very different vibes. On one side of a container there are ladies drinking pink prosecco and on the other side people sit on swings sipping inventive cocktails, whilst downstairs you can sample beer from the on site micro brewery. You can also shop some awesome vintage finds, flick through records, get your hair cut, enjoy looking at the art exhibitions, join in some craft workshops and then get a burrito afterwards, because why not!
The people who are trading here have so much passion for what they do and after talking to them you can’t help but feel the same way. With a summer programme of events and workshops to look forward to there is plenty of entertainment to come. But more than anything it just feels like a space you want to enjoy and make the most of the fantastic energy that is fuelled by bringing so many passionate people together.
I’ve felt a real turnaround in York in the last six months. It really feels like the city and people in it are doing the extra to make great things happen and Spark is going to continue that and be a new place for the creative community to flourish.SPARK YORK