York was designated a UNESCO City of Media Arts - the UK's first - on 1 December 2014.

The motivation to apply for designation was rooted in international ambition. Conceived as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to raise the social, cultural and economic standing of York, it would benefit everybody in the city for decades to come. The bid told the story of York as a place that is culturally-rich and creatively-pioneering, a place where technology and art is used to breath new life into its heritage, where this strength has been cultivated through £100m investment in media arts infrastructure and by becoming one of the first UK’s first Super-Connected Cities, and described how York was committed to using creativity and culture to develop the city further.