After a year which saw major progress on a number of huge infrastructure projects in Doncaster, the town’s business community has spoken of their hopes for 2017.
Business leaders regarded 2016 as a stellar year for Doncaster. We have seen the opening of phase one of the FARRRS airport link road - the Great Yorkshire Way - which will reduce congestion and cut journey times for people travelling to and from the south of Doncaster.
Bosses at Doncaster Sheffield Airport also revealed plans to compete with major rivals by opening a main-line train station that will create thousands of jobs and speed up links with the South-East.
Meanwhile, work continues to build the National College for High Speed Rail at Doncaster Lakeside, which will train more than 1000 students who will become the next generation of engineers needed to deliver billions of pounds worth of rail contracts over the coming decades including the new HS2 high speed rail line.
With plenty more in store for 2017 with work set to continue on all of these projects - plus many more - business leaders are upbeat about the next 12 months.
Dan Fell, chief executive officer of Doncaster Chamber, said: “There have been numerous highlights over the last year - Doncaster Chamber’s 75th anniversary year - where we have delivered and added value to Doncaster and the business sector.
“For 2017, we are looking forward to seeing construction commence on Doncaster’s University Technical College, the further development of Doncaster Sheffield Airport and the success of Doncaster’s Ambassador Programme. It’s evident that Doncaster is increasingly the place to do business.”
Oliver Bryssau, managing director of Origin Broadband, hailed a “fantastic year” for the company and added: “We’re now providing our services to thousands more homes, businesses and schools than ever before, and we’re committed to carry this amazing growth through to 2017.
“We’ve outgrown our current premises and are looking forward to moving into a much larger property early next year.”
Rachel Smith, head of marketing at Polypipe Building Products, said: “Polypipe has used 2016 to improve the training the company can provide, which included the opening of a dedicated training centre in Doncaster. This new Professional Development Centre will offer Polypipe a base from which to extend the skills of professional plumbers and help start the career of the next generation of installers.
“The government has committed £2.3 billion to kick-start a house building drive, which we hope will have a positive impact on the economy by creating orders for businesses such as Polypipe, and jobs across the sector.”
Paul Goel, managing partner of law firm hlw Keeble Hawson’s Doncaster office, is confident the firm can expand on their success: “It’s been a busy and successful 12 months for our Doncaster team - and for the wider firm which is one of the largest in Yorkshire and also has offices in Sheffield and Leeds.
“We’ve also completed a raft of commercial and property deals which include advising on an agreement to a leading Thai energy company with a contract value of more than US$4million.
“Our aim for 2017 is to continue delivering a quality service as a firm which remains at the heart of the local community.”
Katey Dent, sales and marketing manager at the Crown Hotel in Bawtry, said: “Team Crown are very excited to welcome in 2017 as business is booming locally and for the hotel! The arrival of the iport just up the road from the hotel has already seen the new companies locating there using the hotel for business accommodation, meetings and dining. We are also excited to see the ongoing expansion of Doncaster Airport, Aero Centre Yorkshire and the Rail College Doncaster all having hotel requirements in the area.”
David Woolhouse, managing director of Wabtec Faiveley UK, said: “2016 has been a busy year for Wabtec Rail in Doncaster. The first trains have been delivered as part of the exciting Class 321 Renatus refurbishment project on behalf of Eversholt Rail Group, which provides an enhanced passenger experience with a full new interior and state of the art on-board facilities.
“The new National College for High Speed Rail in Doncaster is set to open its doors in September 2017 and Wabtec look forward to supporting this fantastic facility.”
Alex Dowie, managing director of Keyhole Creative Media, said 2017 “looks good” for the company after two years’ of expansion.
Steve Gill, chief executive of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: “2016 represented a series of highlights for the airport, a year of major investment and growth, delivering nearly 1.3m passengers. From the opening of the Great Yorkshire Way improving accessibility, launching 11 new routes with Flybe, new terminal facilities, best year ever for cargo, to our whole site known as AeroCentre Yorkshire being recognised as one of top investment opportunities in the Northern Powerhouse by the UK government, it’s been a momentous year.
“Next year will see us strive to deliver more of the same, more growth in passengers and cargo whilst delivering the same standard of customer service that saw us recognised at the recent chamber awards.”
Paul Shires, director of global business development at Westfield Health, said: “2016 has been an exciting year for Westfield Health as we have developed a suite of new products and services that push the boundaries in the field of workplace and population health and wellbeing.
“The coming year promises more of the same, with further development of services and the evolution of partnerships through our Enterprise Hub.”