VIDEO: New hope for Waterdale

The Waterdale Centre is set to be sold at auction today, potentially paving the way for redevelopment.

It has been given a guide price of £2 million and is expected to attract significant interest from prospective buyers.

Doncaster Chamber's Dan Fell (left) accepts the BCC award.

Doncaster Chamber's Dan Fell (left) accepts the BCC award.

“This is an important town centre site located next to the Civic and Cultural Quarter development which is regenerating the Waterdale area,” said Coun Bob Johnson, cabinet member for regeneration.

“Given its strategic significance, the council is interested in who acquires the site and their intentions.”

It is uncertain what the future buyer will have in mind for the site, but Dan Fell, deputy chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce, said anything that freshens up the centre would be positive.

He said: “I don’t think we’d be too precious in terms of what they do with it, as long as whoever buys it does something with it. It’s a bit of an eyesore. We have the new Civic and Cultural Quarter, we have the Frenchgate Centre, a great markets offer and we have a relatively good high street in the current economic climate - Waterdale in the middle of all that is an opportunity missed.

“If it goes to somebody who can freshen it up and do something creative with it, whether it’s commercial, residential, or retail, as long as it’s an asset to the town it can only be a positive thing.”

The council owns a small part of the Waterdale Centre site and council documents show that cabinet members discussed an ‘acquisition of land at Waterdale’ at a meeting on Friday.

The centre comprises 46 retail units, many of which are empty, a former cinema, office accommodation and a sports and social club. It also has 37 residential flats and more than 300 parking spaces.

Yvonne Woodcock, leader of the Conservative party in Doncaster, said: “If it’s going to be a shopping centre again it does need modernising because we could do with a few more shops at that end of town. Whether it’s all going to be knocked down for redevelopment I have no idea.”

What your’e saying:

Angela Cullen, 73: “They should have left it how it was. It was good for everyone in the flats and when the bus station was there.”

Graham Whiting, 68: “I think the shops should be refurbished. The rents need to be reasonable and the shops need to be accessible.”

Adrian McLeay, 44: “Encourage traders from the market to come here and do pop-up shops.”

Pauline Hassall, 67: “Promote it a bit more. Get people in.”