Doncaster can be hot . . with a bit of imagination

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SOMEONE once told me that there were as many millionaires in and around Doncaster as in Leeds or Sheffield.

The only difference being that in Doncaster those who were wealthiest would also be able to tell you, exactly, the price of a loaf.

I think the general gist was that Doncaster folk, rich or poor, are fairly down to earth and fully understand the concept of value for money.

That little bit of advice crossed my mind the other day passing the Little Theatre as I saw once again that the Hothouse festival is building up steam.

The year-long programme of events has some big names - and some that are unknown to me - but I like the look and sound of the whole idea and what it says about our town.

Ok, so Doncaster is not traditionally thought of as a hotbed for the ‘arts’. Big nights out, yes. Stag and hen nights and sell-outs for Roy Chubby Brown, perhaps. But we’re not particularly ones for the opera or the ballet. But just like the millionaires who quietly live in our borough there are also the large numbers of people who might well be very interested in a big name comedian or musician or stage show, particualrly if they arrived regularly on the doorstep. They might even turn out in their hundreds to such events. We’ve got a new cultural quarter being built, all it takes is a bit of vision.

I was lucky enough to spend many years working in Edinburgh - it’s successful festivals did not start big. They had humble beginnings and gave that city a new identity.

We’ve already got good starting points for growth - the best market in the country, one of the best small airports, excellent shopping centres, some world-class businesses, cracking football and rugby clubs, not to mention being home to oldest horse racing classic in the calendar. Doncaster can definitely put on a show.