York ‘Roman Quarter’ plans unveiled

Plans have been unveiled to create a new ‘Roman Quarter’ in York which will see a mixed-use development built in the city centre including a ‘globally unique’ Roman visitor attraction.

York-based developers, North Star in partnership with York Archaeological Trust and Native, plan to knock down the Northern House, Rougier House and Society Bar and replace it with a new hotel, offices, apartments and the ‘world class’ Roman tourist attraction.

As part of the plans, a former Roman road will be reinstated to connect Tanner Street with Station Road and will form a key part of the new attraction.

The emerging proposals for the new 235,000 sq ft building will include a 145 bed hotel, 228 apartments, 33,000 sq ft for the new Roman attraction, along with 15,500 sq ft for new cafes, retail and restaurants.

York Archaeological Trust will now conduct a two-year dig of the site which will be one of the largest of its kind in the UK, and is expected to be especially significant given the waterlogged ground conditions which preserved so much organic matter at Coppergate.

With artefacts expected to date from 2000 years ago, and trial pits revealing the potential for major discoveries, significant Roman finds will be displayed in the new basement visitor attraction.

A spokesperson for North Star said: ‘These proposals will be a major boost to the City of York and replace unattractive buildings with a new iconic development that the whole city can be proud of.

‘We are undertaking an extensive public consultation exercise to encourage as many people to get involved as possible to help shape the plans so we can offer maximum benefits to York.

‘It will be the final piece in the jigsaw to complete the renaissance of this part of the City Centre and also deliver something globally unique to York.’

Paul Whiting, Head of Visit York added: ‘This is an exciting project for the city and one that will have significant long-term economic benefits for York.

‘Both the archaeological excavations and the attraction itself will expand our understanding of York’s fascinating Roman history and add a new asset to our city’s rich heritage offer.’

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter


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