PLANS to house a giant inflatable structure on a York car park will provide "a window into the area's future as a family-friendly space".

City of York Council leader Cllr Keith Aspden welcomed news that CBeebies’ Rainbow Adventure tour will take over the Castle car park and Eye of York in September as "brilliant".

He said it was "a powerful reminder of why we’re determined to transform the Castle Gateway area”. Under the Castle Gateway masterplan, Castle Car Park will close in 2022 to become a public and event space.

Step Inside Productions contacted the York BID last year to help them secure a site suitable for the Rainbow Adventure. The BID works with festival organisers to support events that will bring visitors to the city and benefit local businesses. It will be in York from September 11 to October 4.

The structure will house a CBeebies garden and interactive rooms, and has specific technical requirements that had to be met.

BID operations manager, Carl Alsop, identified potential sites before settling on the Castle car park which met the practical requirements necessary, including transport links.

“With the enduring popularity of CBeebies with young families, we knew it was important to make sure this event happened.” said Carl. “Thankfully the City of York Council team felt the same way and were proactive in supporting us to secure the Castle car park as a venue."

Cllr Aspden said: "We’ve agreed to lease Castle Car Park to attract such an exciting event. It will provide a fantastic window into the area’s future as a family-friendly space where York residents will love to spend time. We hope that many York children and families are able to take advantage of another great event in our city centre. It is a spectacular setting for any event.”

As part of the masterplan, a multi-storey car park will be built on St George’s Field, moving parking and associated car journeys outside the ring road, while new pedestrian and cycle routes and crossing will connect St George’s Field to the city centre.

Details of planning applications for these developments are available through

York council has been working with residents to shape the public space at Castle and Eye of York. To see what they’ve been saying, and add your voice to the vision, visit or join the conversation at