Starting date set for £1.4m Doncaster Market revamp

Market trader Mick Maye

Market trader Mick Maye

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Renovation work on Doncaster market will begin in the spring of 2015 – though some traders fear it may never happen.

Doncaster Council had considered starting the million pound-plus project in the autumn of 2014, but the plan was abandoned so traders could benefit from Christmas sales.

The authority has around £1.4m to spend with the town centre set to account for the bulk of it.

Controversial plans to scrap outdoor stalls on Goose Hill to create ‘drop-off’ points for shoppers, were dismissed by the council’s cabinet member for regeneration and growth, tourism, culture and leisure Coun Bob Johnson.

He said: “It’s clear that this is unnecessary – there are plenty of places where cars can drop off shoppers already.”

Although the new changes have yet to be decided – the council is considering a raft of options, including new stalls for the outdoor market.

Traders will be given different types of stall to try out over the next few months and stallholders will be involved in the decision-making process.

But Mick Maye, chairman of the Market Traders Federation and a stallholder for nearly 40 years, is cynical about the prospects for improvement.

He said: “Over the years there have been a lot of plans that were supposed to happen, but the only one that has come to fruition is the improvements to the Wool Market three or four years ago.

“The markets are still in decline – if the council seriously wants regeneration they should put a stop on rent increases for the next couple of years.”

“You often see people opening a stall and lasting just a couple of weeks.

“It’s the same elsewhere in the markets – you can see that by the number of empty stalls.”

Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones said: “Jobs and growth are top priorities for me and our markets are vital to the local economy.”