A CAMPAIGN has been launched today (January 14) to champion York’s diverse range of indie businesses and attractions.

The #LoveYork spearheaded by Make It York, focuses on shopping locally and will put a spotlight on some of York’s best businesses and celebrate their unique stories.

The campaign includes a new number of new initiatives, competitions and awards designed to engage residents, businesses and virtual ‘visitors’ to the city during lockdown and beyond. The new #LoveYork hub will also promote the virtual ‘York At Home’ experiences available in the city alongside the takeaway and online delivery options York businesses are promoting.

Kicking off the activity a new ‘ LoveYork virtual market’ promotes the online products, gift vouchers and offers from a wide range of York businesses. With over 35 local traders, retailers, hotels and attractions currently on site, the platform offers a diverse selection of products from York’s array of independent businesses.

A new online # KidsLoveYork hub for children has also been launched on visityork.org today (January 14) - filled with fun activities, crafts and recipes from organisations across the city. From learning how to craft a Viking helmet, to making prehistoric cheese and creating sock puppets, the hub contains a wide variety of interactive activities for kids of all ages to help keep them entertained during lockdown – and learn more about York.

The new online resource brings together content from some of the city’s best family-friendly attractions such as the NRM, JORVIK Group and York Museums Trust - alongside hands-on ‘Discovery Zone’ activities from the University of York’s Festival of Ideas. Children can discover the maths behind the railway revolution, design a museum window or learn how to braid with a Viking – all from the comfort of their own home.

The campaign will include a series of social media competitions promoting prizes from local businesses with the first including a meal for two at Zaap Thai which is now running on the #LoveYork hub. A fun virtual #LoveYork awards initiative for businesses to take part in will also be launched in the coming weeks.

Alongside this there will also be a special celebration of York’s’ local music venues with activity in support of Independent Venues Week (January 25-31) - a seven-day celebration of music venues around the country. This year the focus will be on digital content both pre-recorded and live and streaming industry insider chats. For more details about the campaign visit www.independentvenueweek.com and the individual venue websites for details of their upcoming shows.

Sean Bullick, Managing Director of Make It York said: “Our new #LoveYork campaign is all about celebrating the city and the innovative and creative businesses that we have in York - from world class attractions and independent retailers, to music venues and an eclectic hospitality industry.

"This week, we’ve launched a new virtual market promoting some of York’s best independent businesses, and a new family-focused online hub to help keep the kids entertained during lockdown, with fun content from the city’s attractions. In plan, we also have a series of competitions, online awards and social media content designed to keep York front of mind during the lockdown and champion the wonderful businesses we have in the city. We are incredibly proud of what the city has to offer and we are looking forward to sharing our #LoveYork campaign with residents and virtual visitors over the coming weeks.”

Find out more about the #LoveYork campaign here: www.visityork.org/explore/loveyork