YORK’s ambitious youth council is hoping to become the European Youth Capital of 2017 in a bid which would see the city gain exclusive recognition.

Members of the Youth Parliament for York have said they are looking in to applying for the title which would be bestowed upon the city for a year.

But before they can proceed with their bid to be crowned the Youth Capital of 2017, backing from City of York Council is needed to go ahead with the application.

Council leader Coun James Alexander said he was looking in to the suggestion and would be making plans with the youth council to discuss the idea further.

“This is a very interesting and ambitious proposal and I am keen to meet with the York Youth Council to understand the implications of their bid and to see if this is something the council can support,” he said.

“My labour colleagues and I are always interested in new ideas in how to celebrate the contribution young people give to society.”

The bid would go some way towards recognising York as one of the top in the EU for its dedication to providing a better environment and prospects for young people.

In their written application the Youth Council will have to set out a detailed action plan of how they will get young people more involved in the city and in decision-making.

If successful during the initial application, when the potential winning cities are narrowed down to five, they will go through to the second stage where they will have to provide a full report of their plans for the city.

The third and final stage will see the judging panel choose the winner before it is announced in a high-profile ceremony during one of the European Youth Forum’s Council of Members, attended by about 150 youth leaders from across Europe.

Previous winners include Thessaloniki in Greece, Antwerp in Belgium and Rotterdam in The Netherlands.

Ethan Redmond, member of Youth Parliament for York, said: “We (York) already have low youth unemployment rates and very good apprenticeship services; we have a multitude of volunteering services available for young people to participate in; and the council is in good contact with the youth of today. I think 2017 could be a brilliant year for promoting enterprise with our young people.”