CLADDING has finally gone up at Spark:York ending years of wrangling and rows.

Back in February, The Press reported that City of York Council only agreed to extend the lease on the city centre shipping container development for another two years if its directors dealt with issues around noise and if cladding was installed at their site in Piccadilly.

The look of the giant metal containers has always been controversial, with some critics and detractors arguing they look out of place in the conservation area.

Now tall timber cladding has been put up all around the normally bustling site, which is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but its food venues are available for delivery.

Spark’s existing lease is set to expire in June and the new lease will see it stay until March 2022. After that date, the land will be needed for the council’s Castle Gateway development scheme.

But the venue will need to get fresh planning permission. And the directors will be asked to pay a yearly rent of £13,333 - payable monthly in advance - plus 30% of the site’s profits will be have to be paid to the council.

A council report says that in the past 18 months, Spark has helped 12 businesses move into permanent shops or cafes - with 85 per cent taking premises in the city centre.

It says each business has taken on an average of three staff - bringing about 60 jobs to the local economy.

And Spark has now achieved a turnover of nearly £3 million.

The city centre venue has teamed up with York taxi firm Fleetways to sell and deliver food from its independent businesses.

Customers can order via Deliveroo and deliveries are carried out by Fleetways from 5pm to 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays.