York Arts Barge

Help turn a barge into a unique arts and performance venue for York: a place for you to enjoy music, art, dance and theatre or just a local ale or a cuppa and cake on the river!

Marcia Mackey, project delivery manager for the barge, explains: The aim is to create a friendly and welcoming space where, whether you’re a local or a visiting tourist and whatever your age, you’ll feel like it’s the place for you.

As well as ‘pay for’ events, the barge will offer loads of opportunities to just sit and enjoy a drink and a snack while you look at the art work on the walls or listen to someone playing you chilled out lunchtime piano.

york arts barge 2We’ve bought the ideal barge, done works on the hull-exterior and we’re now preparing a planning application which we hope will secure us a permanent mooring in the city centre.

Once we have been offered a permanent mooring we can go ahead with the full renovation and, all being well, get the barge open for business in 2017.

But before we can submit the planning application we need to raise funds to pay for essential work on design drawings, naval-architecture work, a sound survey and items such as ladders and wooden supports for the temporary barge cover.

What we’ll do:

  • Provide an inspiring hub for artists and a unique performance venue for locals and tourists
  • Catalyse regeneration of the river and the surrounding area
  • Showcase the best of York’s and the region’s creative talent
  • Provide a friendly and welcoming space for all ages to enjoy the arts together

Why it’s a great idea:

Since the closure of the York Arts Centre in 1998, the city has had no comparable, dedicated social arts space for artists, performers, residents and visitors to come together and enjoy the arts on a day to day basis.

As artists, performers and arts-enthusiasts we wanted to create a dynamic, inspiring hub where, whether you’re a resident there to have a coffee, a tourist visiting for a performance or a performer providing the night’s entertainment you feel that you’re part of an inclusive, welcoming and creative environment.

Crucially though, the venue must be able to financially support itself. For this reason a city-centre space is central to its chances of success. The cost of city-centre buildings is out of the reach of most community project’s finances (including ours) and so we decided that a barge-venue would be a relatively cost-effective and affordable option.

It also offers the unique selling point of being a barge of course – and everybody loves boats!

Any donation, however small, is appreciated. Although we can’t, with certainty, predict york barge 3the outcome of the planning process, your support will demonstrate to planners that the project is important to the York community, which in itself is a major boost to the application. In the event that the barge doesn’t get mooring consent, any monies left over from the project would be set against the next stage/s in our plan.

All backers are invited to our VIP party in July. And as most of you will know that there ain’t no party like an Arts Barge Party!

And backers that pledge £25 or more can join for a Foss Basin tour with a glass of wine at the barge.

Pledge, and to say thanks your name will be added to the BIG BEAUTIFUL BARGE BOOK of BACKERS! This will be kept forever so that you and everyone else can see who helped make the barge happen and you’ll be able to write a comment when you come to the VIP doo in July! What’s not to like?

For more info or to donate, check out the York Arts Barge fundraiser page