ARTISTS have been at work at Spark:York, the city’s innovative new business start-up and social space - made out of shipping containers - as it prepares to finally open next week.

The Paintsmiths, mural artists based in Bristol, who include Tom Sledmore, originally from York, have been painting murals on the sides of the containers on the former Reynard’s Garage site in Piccadilly and will complete their work this week.

A spokeswoman for Spark:York revealed that the scheme would not open with outer wooden cladding ‘as originally presented,’ although this was still being considered as a future addition.

“This is in part linked to the rising cost of materials over the last 12 months,” she said. “However, we also feel the current aesthetic is bold and attractive and reflective of the positive change we aim to make on Piccadilly.”

She said a garden was also being planted elsewhere on the site, and businesses were working on the finishing touches in their units.

She added that Spark:York would open to the public with an opening party at 4pm next Friday, with a packed programme of events planned for the subsequent launch weekend, including live music, and lots of children and family activities.