A NEW businesses quarter has opened in York in a bid to promote and boost an area of the city - while also improving river safety.

The Riverside Quarter, based near Clifford’s Street, is seeking to match the same community and economic aspirations of already successful quarters such as Micklegate and the Minster.

Launched formally at Plonkers basement bar, in Cumberland Street, the new quarter will promote the offerings of riverside businesses that can be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike, as well as looking to improve the presentation of the popular area and hoping to work with charities and organisations to promote safety by the River Ouse.

York has seen a spate of river fatalities this year, with many more people being rescued from the water.

The event welcomed both public figures and local organisations from around the city, including the Lord Mayor of York, Cllr Janet Looker, Town Crier Ben Fry and Cllr Fiona Fitzpatrick, of Guildhall ward.

Representatives from Visit York and York Bid, the Grand Opera House, the York Dungeon, Plonkers, The Lowther pub, Independent Life, Riding Lights Theatre, York Boats and Kuda night club have also joined the scheme.

Stuart Jarman, York Dungeon’s general manager, said that the connection between local businesses in the area will be great for the city.

He said: “The York Dungeon has been an integral part of both the visitor and resident offer since 1986.

“I’m pleased that we’ll be strengthening our relationship with many great businesses in the Riverside Quarter to showcase the unique offering we collectively provide in the city, from theatres, restaurants and bars to accommodation and more.

“We’ve seen great work from other groups, such as traders on Bishopthorpe Road and the Micklegate Quarter. There’s a real appetite to improve the area for all to come and enjoy and I’m excited for what we’re setting out to achieve in 2020.”

Cllr Fitzpatrick said: “As a Guildhall ward councillor, I’m delighted to support the launch of the Riverside Quarter.

“It’s an important part of the city’s heritage and it’s good to see businesses coming together to develop an exciting experience for residents and tourists alike, while at the same time rejuvenating the city-centre economy.”

Executive director of York Bid, Andrew Lowson, said: “The BID team has had some early meetings with the Riverside Traders.

“The BID has worked effectively with other trade associations in the city and we look forward to hearing more about their ideas and aspirations.”

The Riverside Quarter opened in York on December 5.