A BID is being made to create a hub for street food and start-up businesses on a derelict site in York city centre.

The proposal, by Spark:York, would feature 15 converted shipping containers, arranged over two levels, on the former Reynards garage site on Piccadilly.

The team behind the plan say it would be the first scheme of its kind in the North of England.

Ruling councillors will next week be asked to grant a three-year tenancy to the group, but they must also secure planning permission first.

The scheme has been designed by award-winning architect Carl Turner, who featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs, and has created similar schemes in London.

Spark:York, a community interest company, is the vision of three local social entrepreneurs, who aim to share their experiences of travel, food, socialising and working on the venture.

Director Tom McKenzie said: “Spark:York will offer the perfect space to meet friends, eat, drink and socialise in a communal space in the heart of the city.

“Spark will strengthen York’s early evening offer, by providing somewhere for the after-work crowd through the week, or for people looking to relax on a weekend. We’ve visited similar places across Europe and are really excited to bring this experience to York.”

York Press:

The Reynards site, pictured above before its demolition, is part of City of York Council’s wider Southern Gateway project.

The scheme will include independent, local businesses and entrepreneurs, including street food and drink kiosks.

York Press:

An artist's impression of the Spark:York proposal for the former garage site.

There would be shared workspace for “socially-minded local start-ups, charities and entrepreneurs, providing hands-on support, along with a quiet, private space for meetings or classroom-type events; a stage and performance area, providing a platform for performing arts and a regular programme of events and activities; and a public workspace with free wi-fi and desk space accessible to people who need a couple of hours’ space.

Under the agreement, City of York Council would get 30 per cent of profits which city officials estimate could equate to £22,000 a year.

Spark:York are inviting expressions of interest from people to be involved, specifically those who want to set up their own business; those who run a small business from home and want to develop it further; are socially-minded and want to work with similar organisations; or have a great idea and want an affordable city centre space to test it out.

York Press: Subject to planning, Spark:York aims to open in Spring 2017.

Register an interest via sparkyork.com, or email info@sparkyork.com