Major plans to transform Doncaster Centre can start to move forward after £10 million funding was approved.
The Sheffield City Region cash is to be used to start work on Doncaster Council’s Doncaster town centre masterplan, and diggers have already moved in to start work, by demolishing the former Doncaster sorting office next to the station, where bosses want to improve what they have called the Doncaster gateway area.
More than £3million will be used to transform the market area to make it a vibrant location all week long and not just on market days. The remaining £7million will be used to transform the station forecourt.
The work undertaken in the market area will set the focus on the most iconic buildings in the area, namely the Corn Exchange and the Wool Market. This will provide a new and enhanced offer to retail traders and customers and enable the market to host more events bringing more people into the area.
The plans also include consolidating the current Irish Middle Market into the existing market hall building and using this space to extend the popular car parking site, which will attract more visitors. This will open up clearer sight lines to the Wool Market building which will undergo a range of improvements including weatherproofing.
Further work will be done in consultation with traders.
In terms of the Doncsater gateway, the old Royal Mail sorting office will make way for the existing car parking to be moved to that site. Later in the year work will begin to change the frontage of the rail station and the car park area providing travellers and visitors to Doncaster with the arrival point they deserve.
Mayor Ros Jones said: “When I launched the masterplan last November I said we needed a comprehensive and achievable plan that will make a real difference. Confirmation of SCRIF funding demonstrates that we have this in our masterplan document and shows Doncaster is definitely moving in the right direction. This underlines the importance of this scheme for Doncaster and the wider region.
“It is extremely positive to see the masterplan coming to fruition so quickly and residents will soon start seeing the changes which will help our borough move forward and thrive. Work is already underway to transform the station forecourt to create a superb gateway into the town centre. We will now be working closely with our partners and traders over the coming months to develop detailed plans with a view of starting work in the markets area towards the end of year.”
Sir Nigel Knowles, Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership of Sheffield City Region, said today: “Funding this project is important because it will help transform the centre of Doncaster and the markets and railway station for which it is justly famous.”