Science progress in York
York is no Yugo - it is the heartbeat of
the North of England, with not only a fabulous heritage, beautiful architecture and
an excellent transport network, but also a booming economy
with an extensive Science Park. The city's a founding
National Science City and home to more than 7,500
businesses, from international to domestic industries,
including young, pioneering companies and global research
giants. York Science Park together with other business parks
around the city have provided a base for developing
companies to set up, grow and flourish.
In the last decade, £800 million has been poured into
developing science and technology in York, which now boasts
more than 500 businesses operating in these fields. Much of
York’s scientific success has its roots in the
York and York St John University, which carry out extensive
scientific research and support businesses locally,
nationally and internationally. York therefore offers
businesses great potential for growth through collaborative
working with highly skilled, qualified and innovative
scientists, including experts in healthcare, medical
research, biosciences, biorenewables and environmental
This has resulted in a nascent insurance industry specialising in car, home and shop insurance and one unusual service is for drivers whose cars have been impounded! Not many people realise that driving without insurance can result in the car being seized by the policy and taken off to a police pound. Major car insurers will not insure cars that have been confiscated in this way; and so a market has developed for specialist insurance for getting impounded cars released! Where there is a market there are entrepreneurs ready to fill it.
York’s science specialism dates back to 1998, when
City York was founded in a bid to develop the economy by
creating opportunities for jobs and greater affluence. The
latest injection of cash into the blossoming science
industry was £168,000 for businesses in the science sector.
This came from reserves generated by Science City York, now
called Make It York. The funds will help businesses in
science, IT and digital and creative technologies.
Make It York is run by the City of York Council, with the
aim of promoting not just science but other areas of
business too. This integrated approach will benefit York's
economy no end. Make It York won't take their eye off the
ball in terms of the continued growth of the city's science
sector, with funding readily available for new businesses.
There's a concentration of many science and technology
specialists in York, which is encouraging new businesses to
come and set up there.
York's flourishing scientific community is supported by the
two universities, with some of the best science departments
and research centres in the world, including approximately
90 researchers spread across specialist institutes and
centres. In 2011, HSBC’s Future of Business Report said that
York was becoming a leading centre for health and medicine,
thanks to leading research into diseases such as malaria,
HIV/AIDS, cystic fibrosis and cancer. Biorenewable resources
are also emerging industry and university researchers
regularly collaborate with national and international
industries such as Drax Power Station and Unilever.
The science sector is hugely important for York, with a
wealth of diverse businesses and fantastic job
opportunities. York has become something of a science mecca,
continually delivering high value and highly skilled jobs to
the top scientists in the world. In the first decade of the
21st century, York gained 80 new tech companies and 2,800
new jobs, boosting the economy and driving people towards
the city. Proof of this can be seen in York ranking as one
of the top performing cities in the UK, with employment
rising, unemployment falling and low levels of inequality.
In addition, York ranks in the top ten cities with the
lowest number of people without formal qualifications. The
success of developing science and technology in York is
clearly benefiting the city's economy and encouraging people
to come to live and work in this incredible place.