York big wheel bid is put into motion

Artist's impression of how York’s new big wheel could look

Artist's impression of how York’s new big wheel could look

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

THIS is how York’s new big wheel could look if it gets the go-ahead from planners – and it could be up and running within weeks.

Tourism firm Great City Attractions Global (GCAG) wants to put the attraction in the gardens of the Royal York Hotel, and has revealed this artist’s impression as part of its planning application.

If it gets the go-ahead from City of York Council, the company hopes to have the wheel in place by November 24. It would run for 14 months before being taken down again in January 2013.

GCAG previously ran a wheel at the National Railway Museum, from 2006 to 2008, but has since failed in three attempts to move to new publicly-owned sites in the city – North Street Gardens, St George’s Field car park, and behind York Art Gallery. In its latest application, GCAG says the wheel could create 30 jobs and says there are “compelling reasons” economically to approve the plan.

They say the wheel would be 53 metres high and have 42 pods. It would have the capacity for 1,000 people an hour, but the firm says it would realistically take fewer people. It would remain open until 9pm each night, which GCAG says would help stimulate York’s evening economy.

The wheel would be towards the northern part of the gardens. The nearest homes are Westgate Apartments in Leeman Road, about 40 to 50 metres away. GCAG says the firm has done a detailed acoustic survey, and says there would be negligible noise nuisance when compared with the noise of the station and passing vehicles.

GCAG has commissioned a bat survey, to try to prevent a repeat of the drama last spring when the possibility of bats behind York Art Gallery scuppered its plans for that site.

In a statement supporting its plans, a spokesman said: “We believe that the graceful and elegant design of our wheels – very different from a fairground attraction or Ferris wheel – can fit in harmoniously with exciting public spaces and and distinguished architecture. Our wheels also benefit heritage locations by giving ordinary members of the public the chance to see familiar architecture and the built environment from a completely different perspective.”

Coun Sonja Crisp, the council's cabinet member for leisure, said: “Stimulating the evening economy is a priority for this council and we welcome steps that support that priority, which supports local jobs. The evening operation of a big wheel would offer a different experience that I’m sure many people would be attracted to.”

York Press: The Press - Comment

Welcome addition

AS York finally looks set to welcome back the giant wheel, new details have emerged that the attraction will be here for 14 months, creating up to 30 jobs, and will stay open until 9pm.

Considering it has a capacity of 1,000 people an hour, that will give a much-needed boost to the city’s evening economy. There is still the small matter of planning permission, but Great City Attractions Global says the economic benefits are compelling reasons to approve their plan. The company calls its wheel a graceful and elegant design and we believe it will be a welcome addition to the city skyline. We are delighted to learn it may be open before Christmas.

York Press: What do you think? - Click to comment

Comments (11)

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11:05am Sat 8 Oct 11

Magritte says...

Coun Sonja Crisp, the council's cabinet member for leisure, said: “Stimulating the evening economy is a priority for this council"

I thought many of those frequenting York in the evening had got 'high' enough already!
Coun Sonja Crisp, the council's cabinet member for leisure, said: “Stimulating the evening economy is a priority for this council" I thought many of those frequenting York in the evening had got 'high' enough already! Magritte
  • Score: 0

1:06pm Sat 8 Oct 11

Even AndyD says...

For goodness sake, lets do it this time. Hard times and the wheel is certainly a draw for tourists. Those who burble about funfairs and it 'just not being York' might want to look at London - they seem to manage quite happily in a city older than York and with a more famous skyline. And in any case, once its up the whingers will soon be moaning about something else.
For goodness sake, lets do it this time. Hard times and the wheel is certainly a draw for tourists. Those who burble about funfairs and it 'just not being York' might want to look at London - they seem to manage quite happily in a city older than York and with a more famous skyline. And in any case, once its up the whingers will soon be moaning about something else. Even AndyD
  • Score: 0

8:12pm Sat 8 Oct 11

TheYorkRose says...

The concept art is just a picture of the wheel. What's important is what it will look like from inside the hotel and what the hotel (and city) will look like from the wheel, and I'm still sceptical that it would be very pleasant for hotel guests. Either way, though, I'd like to see proper consultation and investigation *soon* so that we can make the decision *soon*.

Also I hate London's wheel - absolutely ruins the look of the city's skyline and is a major travesty, so I wouldn't use it as an example. Certainly it brings money and is now accepted as part of the river-front, but it's not exactly great.
The concept art is just a picture of the wheel. What's important is what it will look like from inside the hotel and what the hotel (and city) will look like from the wheel, and I'm still sceptical that it would be very pleasant for hotel guests. Either way, though, I'd like to see proper consultation and investigation *soon* so that we can make the decision *soon*. Also I hate London's wheel - absolutely ruins the look of the city's skyline and is a major travesty, so I wouldn't use it as an example. Certainly it brings money and is now accepted as part of the river-front, but it's not exactly great. TheYorkRose
  • Score: 0

9:49pm Sat 8 Oct 11

Magritte says...

Even AndyD wrote:
For goodness sake, lets do it this time. Hard times and the wheel is certainly a draw for tourists. Those who burble about funfairs and it 'just not being York' might want to look at London - they seem to manage quite happily in a city older than York and with a more famous skyline. And in any case, once its up the whingers will soon be moaning about something else.
If you like London so much, why not move there?
[quote][p][bold]Even AndyD[/bold] wrote: For goodness sake, lets do it this time. Hard times and the wheel is certainly a draw for tourists. Those who burble about funfairs and it 'just not being York' might want to look at London - they seem to manage quite happily in a city older than York and with a more famous skyline. And in any case, once its up the whingers will soon be moaning about something else.[/p][/quote]If you like London so much, why not move there? Magritte
  • Score: 0

9:10am Sun 9 Oct 11

far2bizzy says...

TheYorkRose wrote:
The concept art is just a picture of the wheel. What's important is what it will look like from inside the hotel and what the hotel (and city) will look like from the wheel, and I'm still sceptical that it would be very pleasant for hotel guests. Either way, though, I'd like to see proper consultation and investigation *soon* so that we can make the decision *soon*. Also I hate London's wheel - absolutely ruins the look of the city's skyline and is a major travesty, so I wouldn't use it as an example. Certainly it brings money and is now accepted as part of the river-front, but it's not exactly great.
TheYorkRose wrote:
The concept art is just a picture of the wheel.

Isn’t it just - if the wheel is 53 metres high and only 40 to 50 metres away from the Westgate Apartments then the picture is a gross misrepresentation of reality.
[quote][p][bold]TheYorkRose[/bold] wrote: The concept art is just a picture of the wheel. What's important is what it will look like from inside the hotel and what the hotel (and city) will look like from the wheel, and I'm still sceptical that it would be very pleasant for hotel guests. Either way, though, I'd like to see proper consultation and investigation *soon* so that we can make the decision *soon*. Also I hate London's wheel - absolutely ruins the look of the city's skyline and is a major travesty, so I wouldn't use it as an example. Certainly it brings money and is now accepted as part of the river-front, but it's not exactly great.[/p][/quote]TheYorkRose wrote: The concept art is just a picture of the wheel. Isn’t it just - if the wheel is 53 metres high and only 40 to 50 metres away from the Westgate Apartments then the picture is a gross misrepresentation of reality. far2bizzy
  • Score: 0

3:39pm Sun 9 Oct 11

Woody Mellor says...

Even AndyD wrote:
For goodness sake, lets do it this time. Hard times and the wheel is certainly a draw for tourists. Those who burble about funfairs and it 'just not being York' might want to look at London - they seem to manage quite happily in a city older than York and with a more famous skyline. And in any case, once its up the whingers will soon be moaning about something else.
The idea that the wheel will draw more tourists to York is ridiculous.

York is not London, it is York.
[quote][p][bold]Even AndyD[/bold] wrote: For goodness sake, lets do it this time. Hard times and the wheel is certainly a draw for tourists. Those who burble about funfairs and it 'just not being York' might want to look at London - they seem to manage quite happily in a city older than York and with a more famous skyline. And in any case, once its up the whingers will soon be moaning about something else.[/p][/quote]The idea that the wheel will draw more tourists to York is ridiculous. York is not London, it is York. Woody Mellor
  • Score: 0

3:47pm Sun 9 Oct 11

Even AndyD says...

Agree to disagree. People visit a city for many reasons - I went on the wheel when it was last here, I'd visit one if it were in Harrogate. Its not the sole reason to come, but as a new attraction, its a valid reason for (say) returning. Whatever - its another attraction to the list. I'm sorry - but I don't think such reasoning is ridiculous at all.
Magritte - what???!!!! Tellytubby logic. ;-)
Agree to disagree. People visit a city for many reasons - I went on the wheel when it was last here, I'd visit one if it were in Harrogate. Its not the sole reason to come, but as a new attraction, its a valid reason for (say) returning. Whatever - its another attraction to the list. I'm sorry - but I don't think such reasoning is ridiculous at all. Magritte - what???!!!! Tellytubby logic. ;-) Even AndyD
  • Score: 0

5:52pm Sun 9 Oct 11

m dee says...

Woody Mellor wrote:
Even AndyD wrote:
For goodness sake, lets do it this time. Hard times and the wheel is certainly a draw for tourists. Those who burble about funfairs and it 'just not being York' might want to look at London - they seem to manage quite happily in a city older than York and with a more famous skyline. And in any case, once its up the whingers will soon be moaning about something else.
The idea that the wheel will draw more tourists to York is ridiculous.

York is not London, it is York.
Would bring extra tourists if marketed through coach trips like the London eye is,which in turn spending the day here bringing extra revenue for York shops.
[quote][p][bold]Woody Mellor[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Even AndyD[/bold] wrote: For goodness sake, lets do it this time. Hard times and the wheel is certainly a draw for tourists. Those who burble about funfairs and it 'just not being York' might want to look at London - they seem to manage quite happily in a city older than York and with a more famous skyline. And in any case, once its up the whingers will soon be moaning about something else.[/p][/quote]The idea that the wheel will draw more tourists to York is ridiculous. York is not London, it is York.[/p][/quote]Would bring extra tourists if marketed through coach trips like the London eye is,which in turn spending the day here bringing extra revenue for York shops. m dee
  • Score: 0

7:10pm Sun 9 Oct 11

Woody Mellor says...

Tourists come to York for it's existing sites, not a wheel.

By the way,I have nothing against the wheel as long as it is in an appropriate place. I went on it when it was at the NRM and it was great!
Lets not kid ourselves that it will bring more tourists to York eh?
Tourists come to York for it's existing sites, not a wheel. By the way,I have nothing against the wheel as long as it is in an appropriate place. I went on it when it was at the NRM and it was great! Lets not kid ourselves that it will bring more tourists to York eh? Woody Mellor
  • Score: 0

2:14am Mon 10 Oct 11

Magicman! says...

It would only be there for 14 months? Shame this city can't find a more permanent site for a wheel - but at a guess I would suppose there's a long queue of moaners ready for a list of grumbles for every potential site for a wheel now and for years to come.
It would only be there for 14 months? Shame this city can't find a more permanent site for a wheel - but at a guess I would suppose there's a long queue of moaners ready for a list of grumbles for every potential site for a wheel now and for years to come. Magicman!
  • Score: 0

7:20am Mon 10 Oct 11

livewithit says...

Quick, find some bats !!!!
Quick, find some bats !!!! livewithit
  • Score: 0

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