TODAY'S campaign is running alongside the Evening Press-backed York Business Pride, a partnership between the council and the business community.

Launched in November last year, the campaign encourages businesses to take responsibility for smartening up the city.

York businesses have so far raised £150,000 in corporate sponsorship to launch a series of projects.

The campaign's successes include a gum-busting blitz on city streets, a programme to tackle graffiti in Micklegate, improvement to street furniture and litter bins, smartening up the Memorial Gardens in Leeman Road, and sprucing up the appearance of York Railway Station. The scheme's next initiative, York In Bloom, will enable property and business owners to acquire and maintain a hanging basket for the summer for just £45.

The campaign, which recently received £20,000 from a city centre church charity, also supports organisations which help reforming drink and drugs users by helping them off the streets and put them to work improving the city's appearance.

York Business Pride chairman Adam Sinclair welcomed the launch of our community campaign.

He said: "I am delighted that York Community Pride is being launched.

"It will fit in ideally with York Business Pride and will engage the whole community."

Updated: 14:40 Friday, April 23, 2004