THE river levels may have risen thanks to two successive storms - but York has continued to welcome residents and visitors.

And one city centre manager said when the river gets high, shops, restaurants and attractions work together to keep the city open for business.

Stores and tourist attractions are prepared for the River Ouse and the River Foss levels to increase.

And the council emphasized that - despite the storms - the city remains open for visitors and residents.

Phil Pinder, chair of York Retail Forum, said: "As a city we are very well prepared for flooding and it's a shame to see photos of York flooded in the media - this is just the river acting within its limits as a flood plain.

He said the city is "alive and bustling", adding: "We are very much open for business - the attractions, shops and hotels.

"No one in the city has flooded that wouldn't normally expect to flood.

"The city is open for business, with high river levels, which is what we call it in York, not a flood."

He said that shops, restaurants, attractions and hotels are so well organised that even if they do experience some flooding, they can remain open and be cleaned up within a day or two.

City Screen cinema backs on to the River Ouse - its lift and basement were closed while the river was high. But the cinema screens on the first floor and the cafe remained as popular and busy as usual.

Manager Dave Taylor said: "The basement is part of the functional flood plan for York. When the former Press offices were converted, it was recognised that the basement is going to flood so it is designed to flood.

"Our excellent cleaners hose it all down and make it available for gigs again within a couple of days once the water has gone down.

"It is frustrating, because after the basement flooded after Storm Ciara we managed to get it clear and open for the record fair - then the next flood came along and it went under again."

But he said businesses work together - and one event was moved to the Barbican and Revolution bar next door lets City Screen customers use its ground floor facilities.

He added: "We are all in it together."