Yorkshire Wheel may be moved to new location

Yorkshire Wheel may be moved to new location

How the wheel could look if it was moved to the North Street gardens

The Yorkshire Wheel in its current position

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , News editor

YORK’S big wheel could be set to move to a new riverside location right in the heart of the city centre, The Press can reveal.

World Tourist Attractions (WTA), which owns the Yorkshire Wheel, is considering moving it from the National Railway Museum (NRM) to North Street Gardens, next to the Park Inn Hotel.

Another firm is also looking at opening a floating art gallery on a barge beside the gardens, in a move that could spark a wider revamp of the area.

WTA chief executive Nigel Ward today said North Street was one of several sites the firm was looking at, but insisted it still had a good relationship with the NRM and was delighted with the wheel’s success since it opened in April 2006.

He said of North Street: “There are a number of potential sites within York, but that particular location seems to be very central and looks very good.”

He said the firm was committed to staying in York, and added: “We continue to have a good working relationship with the museum and we are simply covering all our bases, should that contract not be extended.”

The contract to run the wheel is due for renewal this autumn, and WTA’s three-year planning permission runs out in January.

Christian Vassie, City of York Council’s executive member for leisure and culture issues, said talks had been held with a view to finding a new site.

“They are wishing to move on,” he said. “They have been there for a while and they are exploring whether they could find a spot closer to the city centre.”

The gardens in North Street were owned by the Rowntree family until the 1950s, when they were given to the then city council. A covenant was attached to the land, saying the council needed written permission to use it for anything other than a park.

A spokesman for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation today said the council had sought, and received, permission last year to build a wheel on the site.

NRM spokeswoman Catherine Farrell said: “The Yorkshire Wheel continues to be a valuable addition to the National Railway Museum and draws new and repeat visitors from all over the country. No decision has yet been made about its long-term future and we will continue to work with World Tourist Attractions, who own the Wheel, to review and plan its future over the coming months.

“At this moment in time we are unaware of any definite plans to move the Wheel’s location.”

Any move would be subject to approval from a council planning committee. Coun Vassie said he did not want to pre-empt the committee, but said: “The administration is very keen to see us make good use of the river and the river frontage so, in principle, moving the wheel closer to the centre of town could be a good thing.

“We are mindful that some may be less happy but the London Eye has proved phenomenally successful opposite the Houses of Parliament.”

He said talks with a firm wanting to develop a floating gallery opposite Guildhall were at an early stage.


‘I thought it was working well where it was’

Gillian Cruddas, chief executive of Visit York, said: “If they are looking at alternative sites, we would like to be involved in the discussion. There is a balance between getting the site right and everything that is around it.”

City centre councillor Janet Looker said: “I’m terribly supportive of it as an attraction. I think it has been tremendous and I thought it was working very well where it was.”

Jonathan Meehan, managing director of the Park Inn, which is situated next to the proposed North Street site, said he was unaware of the plans but said: “I would be happy to discuss it with them. That area at the moment is just gardens, and anything that increases the footfall down North Street would only be good for us.”

Comments (24)

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11:11am Wed 27 Aug 08

York Fox says...

About time too. It was typical York to put out there, overlooking the ugliest part of town! If you are going to have a wheel do it right, not the half measure we have had until now.
About time too. It was typical York to put out there, overlooking the ugliest part of town! If you are going to have a wheel do it right, not the half measure we have had until now. York Fox
  • Score: 0

11:14am Wed 27 Aug 08

Smiler says...

OK so it will be in use for 6 months of the year and under water for 6 months (they do still flood the gardens and close the retaining gates on North street side don't they?)

It is perfect where it is, the railway museum must have seen an increase in visitors and have always struggled to do something with the small outdoor area where the wheel is now.

If they move it to hungate the footings are already dug out, and it would look better than the proposed council offices.

On a different note can someone at the press do something about the floating adverts, its dead annoying.
OK so it will be in use for 6 months of the year and under water for 6 months (they do still flood the gardens and close the retaining gates on North street side don't they?) It is perfect where it is, the railway museum must have seen an increase in visitors and have always struggled to do something with the small outdoor area where the wheel is now. If they move it to hungate the footings are already dug out, and it would look better than the proposed council offices. On a different note can someone at the press do something about the floating adverts, its dead annoying. Smiler
  • Score: 0

11:35am Wed 27 Aug 08

sj61 says...

The wheel was originally going to be placed in the city centre - the obvious place for a major tourist attraction, but hey-ho, as with so many other things in York, there were so many objections from the NIMBY population it was sited at the NRM.
The wheel was originally going to be placed in the city centre - the obvious place for a major tourist attraction, but hey-ho, as with so many other things in York, there were so many objections from the NIMBY population it was sited at the NRM. sj61
  • Score: 0

1:14pm Wed 27 Aug 08

secppl says...

I think it's an eyesore, and should stay where it is. It'll ruin a beautiful part of the river. It's such an unoriginal 'tourist attraction'. There shouldn't be a compromise of Yorks' character, for such a thing.
I think it's an eyesore, and should stay where it is. It'll ruin a beautiful part of the river. It's such an unoriginal 'tourist attraction'. There shouldn't be a compromise of Yorks' character, for such a thing. secppl
  • Score: 0

1:15pm Wed 27 Aug 08

Mark, York says...

York Fox wrote:
About time too. It was typical York to put out there, overlooking the ugliest part of town! If you are going to have a wheel do it right, not the half measure we have had until now.
Yes and the Park Inn Hotel is such a fine example of modern architecture and really enhances the riverscape!
[quote][bold]York Fox[/bold] wrote: About time too. It was typical York to put out there, overlooking the ugliest part of town! If you are going to have a wheel do it right, not the half measure we have had until now.[/quote]Yes and the Park Inn Hotel is such a fine example of modern architecture and really enhances the riverscape! Mark, York
  • Score: 0

1:16pm Wed 27 Aug 08

pedalling paul says...

I recall that the original Planning Application for use of a site near Cliffords Tower was refused, as it would impact visually upon a Conservation Area.
Hence the offer by the NRM to host the attraction. This has brought the NRM a valuable share of the Wheel income, plus increased secondary spend within the museum itself. All very useful in the face of ongoing inadequate govenment compensation, for the NRM becoming free admission.
I hope that the Wheel can remain where it is or the time being.
I recall that the original Planning Application for use of a site near Cliffords Tower was refused, as it would impact visually upon a Conservation Area. Hence the offer by the NRM to host the attraction. This has brought the NRM a valuable share of the Wheel income, plus increased secondary spend within the museum itself. All very useful in the face of ongoing inadequate govenment compensation, for the NRM becoming free admission. I hope that the Wheel can remain where it is or the time being. pedalling paul
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Wed 27 Aug 08

mztripps says...

I think it should be left where it is. It would make a horrible part of the river worse. They need to knock down the Park Inn too.
I think it should be left where it is. It would make a horrible part of the river worse. They need to knock down the Park Inn too. mztripps
  • Score: 0

1:36pm Wed 27 Aug 08

DAZZLAA says...

youll get a lovely view of the hotel nextdoor and the river, but is that worth the worse accessibilty and reduced notice of the NRM, atleast the current site is big enough, out of the way but still easy to get to. Not to mention all who pass on the train can see it and may want to came back!
youll get a lovely view of the hotel nextdoor and the river, but is that worth the worse accessibilty and reduced notice of the NRM, atleast the current site is big enough, out of the way but still easy to get to. Not to mention all who pass on the train can see it and may want to came back! DAZZLAA
  • Score: 0

1:59pm Wed 27 Aug 08

keepitshut says...

Smiler wrote:
OK so it will be in use for 6 months of the year and under water for 6 months (they do still flood the gardens and close the retaining gates on North street side don't they?)It is perfect where it is, the railway museum must have seen an increase in visitors and have always struggled to do something with the small outdoor area where the wheel is now.If they move it to hungate the footings are already dug out, and it would look better than the proposed council offices.On a different note can someone at the press do something about the floating adverts, its dead annoying.
If flood water got into North Street Gardens we would be in serious sh*t street!
[quote][bold]Smiler[/bold] wrote: OK so it will be in use for 6 months of the year and under water for 6 months (they do still flood the gardens and close the retaining gates on North street side don't they?)It is perfect where it is, the railway museum must have seen an increase in visitors and have always struggled to do something with the small outdoor area where the wheel is now.If they move it to hungate the footings are already dug out, and it would look better than the proposed council offices.On a different note can someone at the press do something about the floating adverts, its dead annoying.[/quote]If flood water got into North Street Gardens we would be in serious sh*t street! keepitshut
  • Score: 0

2:11pm Wed 27 Aug 08

josephheller says...

Yes, move it to the riverside - but only if we can demolish the Park Inn and place it on that site.
Yes, move it to the riverside - but only if we can demolish the Park Inn and place it on that site. josephheller
  • Score: 0

2:34pm Wed 27 Aug 08

Smiler says...

keepitshut wrote:
Smiler wrote:OK so it will be in use for 6 months of the year and under water for 6 months (they do still flood the gardens and close the retaining gates on North street side don't they?)It is perfect where it is, the railway museum must have seen an increase in visitors and have always struggled to do something with the small outdoor area where the wheel is now.If they move it to hungate the footings are already dug out, and it would look better than the proposed council offices.On a different note can someone at the press do something about the floating adverts, its dead annoying.If flood water got into North Street Gardens we would be in serious sh*t street!

I haven't been down there for a while when the river is in flood, as i remember it used to flood all the time, the flood gates were at the top of the jetty beside the hotel and on North street side of the gardens. I also remember being told that just after NU was built their nice new car park became a swimming pool after the river flooded.
[quote][bold]keepitshut[/bold] wrote: Smiler wrote:OK so it will be in use for 6 months of the year and under water for 6 months (they do still flood the gardens and close the retaining gates on North street side don't they?)It is perfect where it is, the railway museum must have seen an increase in visitors and have always struggled to do something with the small outdoor area where the wheel is now.If they move it to hungate the footings are already dug out, and it would look better than the proposed council offices.On a different note can someone at the press do something about the floating adverts, its dead annoying.If flood water got into North Street Gardens we would be in serious sh*t street![/quote] I haven't been down there for a while when the river is in flood, as i remember it used to flood all the time, the flood gates were at the top of the jetty beside the hotel and on North street side of the gardens. I also remember being told that just after NU was built their nice new car park became a swimming pool after the river flooded. Smiler
  • Score: 0

2:40pm Wed 27 Aug 08

King of the Gypsies says...

Gillian "rent a quote" Cruddass seems to think she has a say where the wheel goes. Is she the most useless person in York????
Gillian "rent a quote" Cruddass seems to think she has a say where the wheel goes. Is she the most useless person in York???? King of the Gypsies
  • Score: 0

3:00pm Wed 27 Aug 08

Mullarkian says...

Assemble it on the top of the Minster and you should get a terrific view
Assemble it on the top of the Minster and you should get a terrific view Mullarkian
  • Score: 0

4:37pm Wed 27 Aug 08

the butler says...

Why not bring in the circus while yuo'r at it?
Why not bring in the circus while yuo'r at it? the butler
  • Score: 0

4:43pm Wed 27 Aug 08

john of york says...

Are the council seriously thinking of putting a 200 foot high wheel in front of All Saints North Street? Is it April 1st? I recall when it was put up in 2006 it had three years of planning permission. So that is why it is moving; it HAS to! It seems that most of the the planners are not York born, or at least they seem to have no sense of the continuity that we used to have in York. The Western side of the river is part of the ancient city.
Are the council seriously thinking of putting a 200 foot high wheel in front of All Saints North Street? Is it April 1st? I recall when it was put up in 2006 it had three years of planning permission. So that is why it is moving; it HAS to! It seems that most of the the planners are not York born, or at least they seem to have no sense of the continuity that we used to have in York. The Western side of the river is part of the ancient city. john of york
  • Score: 0

4:46pm Wed 27 Aug 08

Dash W says...

Surely that's a "floodable" area? But I assume (hope), that they'll have thought of that.
Surely that's a "floodable" area? But I assume (hope), that they'll have thought of that. Dash W
  • Score: 0

5:06pm Wed 27 Aug 08

meme says...

what a great idea and a great location for such an iconic attraction to York
it needs to be more central and form part of the city centre
The idea of a floating art gallery and anything else which uses our beautiful river and brings it back to life is also a great idea.
Some joy in all the gloom but no doubt there will be others who will moan about its size, the fact people will be attracted to it etc so you cannot win them all!!
what a great idea and a great location for such an iconic attraction to York it needs to be more central and form part of the city centre The idea of a floating art gallery and anything else which uses our beautiful river and brings it back to life is also a great idea. Some joy in all the gloom but no doubt there will be others who will moan about its size, the fact people will be attracted to it etc so you cannot win them all!! meme
  • Score: 0

5:11pm Wed 27 Aug 08

Pedro says...

But where are the glue sniffers going to go?
But where are the glue sniffers going to go? Pedro
  • Score: 0

6:10pm Wed 27 Aug 08

henleazeyorkie says...

Great view of the hotel!

Great view of the hotel! henleazeyorkie
  • Score: 0

6:17pm Wed 27 Aug 08

offa says...

WQhat a terrible suggestion - that it should be put in front of All Saints, one of York's treasures. If the Council agrees to this plan, they should all be castrated - even the women.
WQhat a terrible suggestion - that it should be put in front of All Saints, one of York's treasures. If the Council agrees to this plan, they should all be castrated - even the women. offa
  • Score: 0

7:04pm Wed 27 Aug 08

chrisatyork says...

My suggestion for what its worth is demolish stonebow house and put the wheel there.
It`s on a exelent bus route , central and will get rid of the biggest eyesore in York
My suggestion for what its worth is demolish stonebow house and put the wheel there. It`s on a exelent bus route , central and will get rid of the biggest eyesore in York chrisatyork
  • Score: 0

11:07pm Wed 27 Aug 08

mjrutherford says...

I don't think the Yorkshire Wheel is an eyesore personally and would quite like it to be moved to that site. The dominant buildings in the area are the Park Inn and Norwich Union, neither particularly fantastic.

When I went on the wheel myself, I was disappointed by the view. On one side, you can see the derelict York Central site with a housing estate in the distance. On the other side you can barely see anything. It's far enough out of the city centre that the view just isn't good enough.

It has to be moved to the city centre, this seems like a great site.
I don't think the Yorkshire Wheel is an eyesore personally and would quite like it to be moved to that site. The dominant buildings in the area are the Park Inn and Norwich Union, neither particularly fantastic. When I went on the wheel myself, I was disappointed by the view. On one side, you can see the derelict York Central site with a housing estate in the distance. On the other side you can barely see anything. It's far enough out of the city centre that the view just isn't good enough. It has to be moved to the city centre, this seems like a great site. mjrutherford
  • Score: 0

7:35am Thu 28 Aug 08

Dr D says...

Not a very practical site at all. Not enough parking, not enough room. It is a 'dead-end' road after all, and in front of a church and over a hollow walkway. What about all the trees that would have to be felled.
Not a very practical site at all. Not enough parking, not enough room. It is a 'dead-end' road after all, and in front of a church and over a hollow walkway. What about all the trees that would have to be felled. Dr D
  • Score: 0

8:21am Thu 28 Aug 08

chapo says...

Put the thing on the eye of york, just to stop the cr*p ice rink for 3 years!
Put the thing on the eye of york, just to stop the cr*p ice rink for 3 years! chapo
  • Score: 0
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