RESIDENTS have given an Emperor-style thumbs up to plans for a new Roman museum in York city centre.

Hundreds attended a public consultation exhibition yesterday (Thursday, July 4) about the proposals for the visitor attraction, which would form part of a £150 million redevelopment of Rougier Street which also includes an aparthotel, apartments and offices.

The reaction from the vast majority of more than 230 people who had visited by 5pm yesterday was ‘overwhelmingly positive,’ said a spokesman for the prospective developers, North Star, who are in partnership with York Archaeological Trust.

Comments given in feedback forms included “Brilliant, thoroughly support it”, and “Positive move for this side of the city, in keeping with the overall vision for this side of the river. Let’s celebrate our history through modern restoration”.

Another comment read: “I feel this is a huge win for the city. Our heritage and history is central to York and these plans really open it to the community. I feel this is something that as York residents we can be immensely proud of.”

Marc Allinson, landlord of the Artful Dodger pub in nearby Micklegate, said: “I love the idea.”

He said his only reservation was about the proposed design for the new hotel alongside Rougier Street, which he felt could incorporate some Roman-style pillars or arches in a nod to the Roman history without becoming kitsch.

Paul Stansfield, who was involved in the creation of the original Jorvik Viking Centre by the archaeological trust, said: “I love it!”

He said he felt that with all the recent emphasis on eras such as the Viking period, the city’s Roman origins had tended to be airbrushed out of the city’s history, when it was vitally important, and the proposed centre would right that wrong.

Last week, The Press exclusively revealed details of the proposals, which include demolishing three buildings in Rougier Street and replacing them with the museum, a 145-bed hotel, 228 apartments, offices and new cafes, shops and restaurants.

The 33,000 sq ft museum would be preceded by a ‘once in a generation’ dig, similar to the one the trust staged in Coppergate in the 1970s prior to its creation of the ground-breaking Jorvik Viking Centre.

Society Bar, where the consultation was staged yesterday, would be demolished in the first phase to make way for the dig and Roman attraction, and the other two buildings facing demolition later are Rougier House and Northern House. Occupiers including Northern Rail would re-locate elsewhere in York.

North Star said the project would add to the ‘renaissance’ of the area and the two-year dig - with gantries allowing the public to watch the archaeologists at work - was expected to be especially significant.

People can still get involved in the consultation by going to