Grant provides green light for city’s evening economy

York’s evening cultural scene is set to get a significant boost thanks to a grant for almost £100,000 from Arts Council England.  ‘Vespertine’* will inspire people to stay in York city centre for longer in the early evening, with a series of culturally-inspired art installations and events.

During the two year project, a range of city partners will create Vespertine experiences, 18 free innovative and sometimes surprising cultural activities taking place on specific dates across the city centre.  Appealing to all ages, the events may include musical performances, light projections or art installations that come to life as the city’s retail sector closes for the evening.  They will be curated by Lucy Barker and Yvonne Carmichael who have devised and delivered a wide range of temporary cultural events and festivals acrossYorkshireover the last few years including Moor Music and Beacons Festival, Light Night and South Square Gallery.

“Feedback from residents and visitors to York highlights a ‘gap’ between the end of the working day and the start of the ‘evening’, which provides no incentive for people to remain in the city centre after 5.30pm.  Vespertine will bring the city back to life, with a series of mini-events that people can either plan to come and see, or simply stumble across as they wander around the city,” comments York Archaeological Trust’s director of attractions, Sarah Maltby. 

“This is an initiative that will benefit the city as a whole, so it is fantastic that so many organisations are involved in providing money, time and expertise, to make this happen,” adds Sarah.  “Yorkis at its best when everyone is pulling in the same direction – the 2012 Mystery Plays is a perfect example - and this initiative will bring together the city’s theatre expertise – including Pilot Theatre, who were behind ‘Blood & Chocolate’, museums, musicians and artists.  In the longer term, we want to use this collaborative approach for wider creative production inYork.”

York Archaeological Trust successfully led the consortium of partners from the city’s attractions, cultural leaders and City ofYork Councilto bid for an Arts Council England Grant, of £99,995.  City of York Council will additionally contribute £30,000, to be matched by contributions from the partners. 

Lucy and Yvonne explain, “We are very excited to have been appointed for such an ambitious project.Yorkhas a wealth of fabulous spaces and we are both keen to work with a wide range of partners to programme activity that is both contemporary and challenging whilst remaining accessible to a wide audience.”

* The name ‘Vespertine’ comes from the Latin word 'vesper' which means evening.  Vespertine is a term used in the life sciences to indicate something of, relating to, or occurring in the evening, for example a vespertine flower is one that opens or blooms in the evening.  


Picture shows:  An interactive sound and light sculpture that will feature as part of Vespertine in York.

For further media information or photographs, please contact:

Jay Commins

Pyper York Limited

Tel:         01904 500698


About Us

Based in York, UK, the JORVIK Group of Attractions comprises:JORVIK Viking CentreDIGBarley HallThe Richard III Experience at Monk BarThe Henry VII Experience at Micklegate Bar The JORVIK Group also organises the annual JORVIK Viking Festival each February in York, and the Yorkshire Medieval Festival in August.