YORK’S Bonding Warehouse could become a creative business centre as part of £1.73 million plans to create 500 new jobs for York.

City of York Council’s ruling cabinet will be asked to approve funding for four projects through the authority’s new Economic Infrastructure Fund (EIF) when it meets next week.

They include transforming the Bonding Warehouse, next to the River Ouse, into a digital media and cultural centre, with £1.4 million requested from the EIF to make it happen.

A report before next Tuesday’s cabinet meeting said several sites had been looked at and negotiations were taking place with the owners of the historic riverside building next to Skeldergate Bridge, after it was named as the preferred option.

If approved, the centre would provide space for up to 250 small creative businesses over five years to support digital and creative industries.

Council officers said such firms had found it difficult to secure suitable premises in York to expand. The Bonding Warehouse would be leased to a new social enterprise.

A further £80,000 could be ploughed into Science City York to help business growth, while £50,000 may be used to support the Back le Bid campaign to bring to Tour de France’s Grand Depart to Yorkshire in 2016, as York would form part of the route.

Meanwhile, the council plans to commit £200,000 from the EIF into improving public spaces in the city to ensure they are clean, modern, refurbished and attractive, as part of the Reinvigorate York initiative.

The £28.5 million EIF was designed to release cash for schemes which are seen as being of “strategic importance to the city’s ambitions” and create new jobs. The Labour-controlled council has said the initial range of projects could draw in £2 million of extra funding from outside the authority.

Council leader James Alexander said: “The EIF was created to kickstart key projects for the city which otherwise would not be possible in the current difficult economic climate.

“These new projects would leverage more than £2 million of external funding into the city and create more than 500 jobs.”