Work on transforming former Free Press offices set to begin

Sunny Bar. Picture: Andrew Roe
Sunny Bar. Picture: Andrew Roe

Works to transform the iconic former offices of the Doncaster Free Press are set to get under way early in the New Year.

The former premises of this newspaper are being turned into shops, homes and a gym after plans were given the go-ahead by Doncaster Council chiefs late last year.

The building in Sunny Bar, home to the Free Press for 89 years, will be converted into five ground floor retail units.

It will also house a multiple occupation property containing fourteen bedrooms on the first and second floors, a gym, lounge, office and storage area in the basement.

Preliminary work has been carried out by Balby-based Belgray Developments and work to gut the building, which dates back to 1902, will begin in January.

The Free Press moved into its new home on the corner of Printing Office Street and Cleveland Street next to The Old Angel in January 2013.

The title was founded by printer Dickie Crowther and first hit the streets on 18 June 1925 under the title Doncaster Free Press and Courier of Coming Events.

From that point on, the newspaper had a continuous presence in Sunny Bar, with more than 4,500 editions produced there, although it was printed elsewhere.

There have only been eight editors in the paper’s entire history, the current being group editor Chris Burton, and summer 2015 will see us celebrate our 90th anniversary.