York’s latest attraction, ‘Chocolate: York’s Sweet Story’, has solidified the city’s reputation as a ‘chocolate capital’, breathing life into the mouth-watering legacy of confectionery that has paved its cobbled streets for three hundred years. Based in the City Centre, the museum rapidly established itself as a must-see destination for tourists and locals alike to experience the process of chocolate-making first hand from bean to bar whilst enticing its sweet-toothed patrons with an array of confectionary on sale in its storefront shop.
Unveiling its latest plans, the museum is hoping to extend its candy coloured cafe out onto King’s Square where it hopes to serve food and drink until 8pm. However, the proposal has put in motion a collision between another long-standing tradition in York: Street Performers.
Street Performers have long been a vibrant and dynamic feature of York, swathing its streets with a wide range of entertaining talents. A popular site has traditionally sat in King’s Square, and the Chcoolate Museums’s new plans for seven or eight outside tables have sparked concern that performative space will be severely curtailed. With no space for an audience, there are growing fears that some of the best street artists, both local and visiting, will be unable to perform leading to the destruction of busking tradition within King’s Square.
The introduction of ‘York’s Sweet Story’ to the square has generated an investment of £2million to rennovate the much-loved space. The museum claims to have sought pre-planning advice from The City of York Council before submitting the application for increased outside space, hoping to work alongside other traders and buskers to augment, rather than stifle, the vibrant atmosphere of the square.
The decision now rests with the City Council, who will take into account the fifty-one signatures on the performer’s petition against the expansion before reaching their final verdict.