York ‘better place to live than London’ – former BBC boss Greg Dyke

14th September 2020

York ‘better place to live than London’ - former BBC boss Greg Dyke

YORK is well placed to recover from the economic impact of coronavirus - but we still don’t know what the long-term effect on the city will be, says former BBC boss turned Make It York chair Greg Dyke.

Mr Dyke said the city had been transformed in the 50 years since he was a student here.“It is a brilliant place to live,” he said.


“I’ve been telling my kids and others for many years to ‘go and live in York’. If you’re a teacher or a council worker, you can have a much better life living in York than in London.”

The city’s long-term future must be about encouraging more businesses, organisations and civil servants to move here, he said. “I always say ‘move the money’. If you can move the money here, it works.”

That’s why projects such as the development of York Central are so vital, he said. The House of Lords may not be coming to York – but there is a real chance that a big government department will. And that would bring with it all the services that surround major government operations, such as PR companies, media groups and office support.

York Central could also provide space for smaller, innovative businesses, which would improve the diversity of the city’s economy, he added.

But he accepted the city faced challenges in the short and medium term to overcome the damage caused by coronavirus.

In an interview given before the Government announced that social gatherings of more than six people would be banned from Monday, Mr Dyke said it was still too early to know what the long-term impact of the virus would be.

He said there had been an ‘understandable panic’ from the Government when the virus first began to spread. But he pointed out that while the number of new cases was rising, mainly among younger people, the number of deaths was not. “If you test more people, you will get more positive results,” he said. “But I think maybe we have learned to cope better with the virus (than we did in the beginning).”

Make It York managing director Sean Bullick added that the key to York’s post-Covid recovery would be diversifying, so the city was less dependant on tourism. He acknowledged there was an impact on city centre footfall if white collar staff continued to work from home rather than returning to the office. “That is something that we will need to cope with.”

For the full story, please visit the York Press website.