York & North Yorkshire

Kings Square buskers oppose York chocolate attraction cafe

Rob Roy Collins performing in Kings Square, York
Image caption Kings Square has been popular with street entertainers for more than 30 years

Street entertainers claim plans to create an outdoor cafe in a York square could force them to stop performing.

York's Sweet Story, a museum on Kings Square, wants to extend its cafe allowing customers to eat outside.

The square has been an outdoor performance venue for more than 30 years but entertainers say it is not big enough for them and a cafe area.

Continuum, who own the museum, said it wanted to work with performers to retain the atmosphere in the square.

'Absolute madness'

The chocolate attraction, which opened at Easter 2012, has applied for planning permission for between seven and eight tables of four in the square.

Escapologist, Rob Roy Collins, who is leading the Save Kings Square campaign, said: "It is absolute madness and a total oversight to think there is room for performers, an audience and tables and chairs.

"If this goes through we definitely can't perform here, we will all leave and the area will become quieter. It is a small square and it is lovely but there isn't room for this plan."

Continuum said in a statement: "We chose it because it is lively, vibrant and entertaining. We want buskers in the square as much as they want to busk. We are very disappointed that they don't want to listen to that message.

"It is our intention to sit alongside other users sharing a newly tidied up square with the general public also. We just want to compliment what's already there and we fully recognise that no business has exclusivity over the city's squares and open spaces."

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