BUSINESS and community leaders across York have written to the Prime Minister calling for it to become the country's second city of government.

Over the past few months there have been suggestions York could be home to the Houses of Parliament while Westminster undergoes renovation and the House of Lords.

Now 20 city leaders including Greg Dyke, chair of Make it York, Keith Aspden, leader of City of York Council, Dame Mary Archer, chair of York Central Partnership and both York’s MPs, Rachael Maskell and Julian Sturdy have signed the letter.

It says York is ideally placed and calls on the government to start discussing the proposal in greater details. It adds: "We would like to express our strong support for any such move, which we believe would have overwhelming public support especially in York and the surrounding region, would play a major role in delivering the government’s national levelling-up agenda, and would be a very significant economic boost for the city and the north.

"We also believe York has the ideal available site, in York Central. Its strategic importance has been recognised with the award of Enterprise Zone status. The economic impact of York Central was originally estimated at £1.16 billion. We believe it will be very significantly higher now. The unlocking of the York Central site would allow sufficient space, alongside government offices, for York’s burgeoning creative tech and biotech sectors to expand."