2011 was a fantastic year for Doncaster and looking back there were many highlights.It seems appropriate to take a light-hearted look back.
In the spring we launched Doncaster’s bid for city status as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Our entry highlighted Doncaster’s rich history, its offer to visitors and has been backed by businesses and community groups.
The Chinese tradition of dragonboat racing returned to Lakeside last summer.The charity event was organised by the council’s tourism team and the Rotary Club of Doncaster St George’s in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
Our revived St Leger Festival Week was bigger and better with 150 events including wine tasting, comedy, Romans, opera and live music. Visitors to Doncaster attractions have increased by 18% over the past year.
Egypt, the Newfoundland, became the country’s only licensed busking dog.The gentle giant became an overnight sensation in the local and national press, including ITV’s This Morning. I was so impressed with his efforts I immediately appointed him ‘Busker of the Year 2011’ with his human assistant Simon Cartledge.
December saw the launch of Doncaster wine at the tourism information centre as well as carol concerts at the Mansion House and Minster.
I am a big supporter of businesses in Doncaster and was delighted to officially open new ventures including the Masons Arms, Quality Solicitors Jordans and the reopening of Java Deli. I was also pleased to launch the ‘buy local’ scheme recognising Doncaster businesses who buy their fresh produce from the markets, officially Britain’s best in 2011. Doncaster can look forward to 2012 with confidence. I wish you a happy, prosperous and peaceful New Year.