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History of YCL

YCL (also known as Commercial Services) is a wholly owned subsidiary company of the University of York. The company was first established in 1993, as York Conference Park Limited (YCP) and had only 24 employees. In 2012 and 2019, the company’s name changed and YCL was formed with the overall aim to deliver a profitable service and provide essential income to the University. YCL now has a workforce of almost 700 workers.

There are a number of commercially focused sections which make up Commercial Services; Catering and HospitalityDesign & PrintYork ConferencesYork Sport, Retail, York Campus Nursery and York Science Park.

Some of the key achievements of each section can be found below, for more information on the history of each section, please click the headings under each.

York Sport

  • £9m investment in new York Sport Village
  • Tour de France launch
  • Park run launched
  • Full history 

Design & Print Solutions

  • Moved to Heslington studio
  • Included web design in their services
  • Grew 100% in size
  • Full history

York Conferences

  • Ruby anniversary of the conference office 
  • Bronze, Silver and Gold 'Green Impact' awards
  • Hosted over 13,000 events
  • Full history

Catering & Hospitality

  • £3.2m invested in catering facilities
  • Bronze 'Green Impact' award
  • Gold and Silver food hygiene awards
  • Full history

York Science Park

  • Expanded from one building to five
  • Supported over 400 businesses
  • Joined YCL
  • Full history


  • University of York merchandise shop opens
  • Launched online merchandise store
  • New NISA Kimberlow supermarket opened
  • Full history