EIGHTEEN art installations and events are set to boost York's early evening economy, thanks to a £100,000 grant from Arts England.

A two-year project called ‘Vespertine’ will inspire people to stay in the city centre for longer in the early evening through musical performances, light projections and art installations which will come to life as shops are closing.

It will start with an interactive sound and light sculpture to be staged at St Martin's Church and City Screen Basement in Coney Street on May 12.

York Archaeological Trust successfully led a consortium of partners from the city’s attractions, cultural leaders and City ofYork Council to bid for an Arts Council England Grant of £99,995. The council will also now contribute £30,000, which will be matched by contributions from the partners.

The Trust’s director of attractions, Sarah Maltby, said that feedback from residents and visitors highlighted a gap between the end of the working day and the start of the evening, which provided no incentive for people to remain in the city centre after 5.30pm.

"Vespertine will bring the city back to life, with a series of mini-events that people can either plan to come and see, or simply stumble across as they wander around the city," she said.

“This is an initiative that will benefit the city as a whole, so it is fantastic that so many organisations are involved in providing money, time and expertise, to make this happen.

“York is at its best when everyone is pulling in the same direction – the 2012 Mystery Plays is a perfect example - and this initiative will bring together the city’s theatre expertise – including Pilot Theatre, who were behind ‘Blood & Chocolate’, museums, musicians and artists.  

"In the longer term, we want to use this collaborative approach for wider creative production inYork.”

The events will be curated by Lucy Barker and Yvonne Carmichael, who have devised and delivered a wide range of temporary cultural events and festivals acrossYorkshire over the last few years, including Moor Music and Beacons Festival, Light Night and South Square Gallery.

They said they were 'very excited' to have been appointed for such an ambitious project, adding: "York has a wealth of fabulous spaces and we are both keen to work with a wide range of partners to programme activity that is both contemporary and challenging whilst remaining accessible to a wide audience.”

The name ‘Vespertine’ comes from the Latin word 'vesper,' which means evening.