Preparations are well underway today as Tang Hall SMART and Tang Hall Explore Centre get ready for the ‘Phoenix Arising’ summer festival on Saturday 6th July. The family-friendly festival is being supported by York’s Ultra Fibre Optic (UFO) from TalkTalk as it rolls out its full fibre network across the city.  

The festival marks the first anniversary of the opening of The Centre @ Burnholme, while also recognising the heritage of the building on the site of the former Community College. The support from York’s UFO from TalkTalk means the festival is entirely free from 9am to 4pm, then just £1 per person from 4pm to 9pm, including sandwiches, cakes and drinks.  

Bringing together a diverse mix of music, performances, literature, crafts and activities, the inclusive festival is run by Explore York Libraries and Archives who provide a welcoming library, café, public access PCs, free WiFi and a wide range of events and activities for people of all ages, and Tang Hall SMART, who offer a range of arts-based activities to people in need including those that are homeless, dealing with mental health issues and learning disabilities. It will be held at The Centre @ Burnholme which has become a community hub for local residents in Tang Hall and Burnholme since its opening last year.  

Music acts and tea dances will take place throughout the festival which starts at 9am and finishes at 9pm, with daytime sessions in the library and café showcasing a variety of fun activities such as Storytime, Lego, Chatterbooks, Playdough and Chapters Reading Group for young people and a taster session of boccia, local history information, Reading Group membership, craft club and Burnholme Information Hub resources for adults. Samples of café refreshments will be provided during the day, with full refreshments provided as part of the ongoing evening entertainment.  

Sue Williamson, Managing Director of Tang Hall SMART, said: “The excitement is building as we watch the event take shape and we are very much looking forward to celebrating the talent we have in our community and to showcasing bands, choirs, a tea-dance, solo artists and our very first community play to local residents from across York. We called the festival Phoenix Arising to symbolise the way the building rose from the former college. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate the new community hub that we now have at The Centre and we’re grateful to York’s UFO from TalkTalk for their support.” 

Fiona Williams, Chief Executive, Explore York Libraries and Archives, said: “It’s amazing how quickly the first anniversary has come around. We are pleased to celebrate this first year at the same time we are developing our exciting vision as part of the new library and archives contract with City of York Council. The Explore vision is about opening up the world to everyone, and with 12,000 people a month visiting this wonderful building, we can see how successful it has been. We will continue to reach out to everyone in the east of the city to come and explore the future with us.” 

York’s UFO Marketing Manager, Helen Fletcher, said: “This festival will bring the whole community together in such a fantastic way and we’re thrilled to be a part of it! As we rollout out York’s Ultra Fibre Optic across York, we’re keen to get involved in the local communities we’re working in. While we’ve been building the full fibre network in Tang Hall and Heworth, we’ve seen how Tang Hall SMART and The Centre @ Burnholme are integral to the community and so we were delighted to be able to support this inclusive event.” 

York’s UFO from TalkTalk is both accessible and affordable and is transforming the quality of broadband across the city. The full fibre network delivers speeds of more than 900 MB through Fibre-to-the-Premise technology which involves laying full fibre all the way from the exchange into individual homes or businesses. It’s twenty times faster, more stable and reliable than other ‘fibre’ products* which means it’s possible to download a two-hour HD film in several seconds or 100 songs in three seconds, tasks that currently take more than 25 minutes and eight minutes on a standard broadband connection.  

The network build in Tang Hall and Heworth started earlier this year and so far, the network passes 33,000 homes and businesses, and residents in Dringhouses, Woodthorpe, Foxwood, Chapelfields, Poppleton, Huntington, New Earswick, Rawcliffe, Clifton and parts of Holgate and The Groves are able to connect. York’s UFO will be available to 55,000 homes and businesses across the city by 2020.   

For more information about York’s UFO from TalkTalk, please follow TalkTalkUFOYork on Facebook and Twitter or to place an order visit www.talktalk.co.uk/ufo.