A PROJECT to create a floating arts venue in the region’s tourism capital has moved a step forward.

Organisers behind plans for the Arts Barge have asked City of York Council for permission to use Skeldergate Landing as the base for the scheme, which has recently received financial backing.

The council confirmed last month that it would allocate £25,000 towards the venue so a boat can be bought, with three further £25,000 payments to be made at later stages as the business plan proceeds.

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The Arts Barge Project was set up in 2009 with a fundraising appeal subsequently being launched and a four-week trial run taking place during the 2011 Festival Of The Rivers.

The cost of the boat is likely to be about £50,000, with the overall project, including renovation work, expected to be about £275,000 and sponsors set to be sought.

In their application to change the use of Skeldergate Landing to accommodate the barge, the project team said it would be moored in a way which would ensure it was not affected by rising or falling river levels and it would be inspected at least twice a day if flooding struck York. Tables and chairs would be placed on the adjacent quayside.