BUSINESSES in York are being invited to show their support for Britain’s armed forces by signing up to a scheme which rewards their sense of duty.

The Heroes Welcome in the UK drive allows retailers to display a logo which tells servicemen and women, as well as their families, and veterans how much their bravery and dedication to helping to protect the nation are appreciated.

City of York Council and businesses in the city have now teamed up with the scheme, which will give traders the chance to let armed forces personnel know they will be offered a discount, a service upgrade or an acknowledgement of their efforts such as a smile and a message of thanks.

The initiative was originally launched in Scarborough and has now been adopted in more than 30 towns and cities across the UK, including Pickering, Malton, Thirsk and Whitby, and York’s participation is being championed by the city’s Lord Mayor, Coun Sue Galloway.

The role of York, which has long prided itself on its military status and heritage, in Heroes Welcome was officially launched yesterday at the Mansion House, when the Lord Mayor met retailers, representatives from the armed forces and the scheme’s co-ordinator John Senior.

Coun Galloway said: “As a garrison city, it seems only right that we officially recognise the courage and sacrifice of our servicemen and women and their families.

“York is a very friendly city and the Heroes Welcome initiative is just another way of extending its traditionally warm welcome to all sections of the community, whether they have lived in the city for years, will be based here for a short time or are simply visiting.”

Retailers and other organisations who choose to take part can decide how much support they want to give to service personnel and there is no cost involved in joining the scheme.

Anybody interested in being part of Heroes Welcome should send an email to or phone city centre manager Paul Barrett on 01904 552272.