What do the people of Stainforth think to the £21 million transformation coming to the town?

A successful bid for support from the Towns Fund means Stainforth is set for a £21.6million transformation.

By Kev Rogers
Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 7:38 am

A number of key projects were put forward by the Stainforth Town Deal Board shaped by extensive consultation with people who live and work in Stainforth or visit the area.

There will be improvements at the train station, the creation of a hub in the town centre, enhanced roads and streets and the headstocks will be turned into a prime heritage site with a green space and new commercial opportunities.

We visited the town during the recent heatwave and asked residents what they thought of the plans.

Stainforth is set for a £26 million transformation.

Serving thirsty customers at The old Club, manager Michelle Alden, said: “I think it’s a good thing, it’s been a long time coming we’ve never had anything as a village- well we’re a town now – so for us to get that is definitely a good thing.

“I think it’s great news. Being born and bred here it’s nice.

“A lot of the businesses here have been suffering and some of them have been boarded up.

The headstocks of the former Hatfield Main Colliery viewed from the railway bridge at Stainforth. They are set to be transformed into a visitor centre. A new railway bridge is also on the cards.

“The face lift for the shops will be great for the renewal of the area.”

Some residents and traders say they are sceptical abut the plans ever coming to fruition, while others support them with qualifications and think the money should have been better spent.

Having a cuppa in the shade at Little Mims Cafe on Station Road, resident Richard Tuby said: “I feel very passionate about the town.

Doncaster Council built that link road , not the people of Stainforth. My argument is that all the people have to clean the rubbish up that’s left on that link road because of Doncaster Council. So why are they taking money which is our funding to upgrade out village to put cameras up on their road?

Michelle Alden, manager of The Old Club.

“Before anything they should put cameras on the Welfare park up there and cameras and speed bumps on Station/Church Road. We have people speeding all the time and people are being hurt.

He said development a the headstocks was a good idea but had reservations it would be vandalised.

“Why not get the youth club going again so the young people can go instead of being on the streets setting fire to stuff.

“Will they be revamping the shops on Station Road? I think if they are doing shops up on one end of the street they should do them all.”

Richard Tuby

Craig Piper moved to Stainforth from Herefordshire in February. He thinks the improvements are “fantastic”.

He said: "I came her with my wife to buy a house because house prices were so low here. Now the prices here are going up in value.

"This is going to give a big uplift to everyone. I love it here and we have no intention of moving away.”

A resident who helped develop the plans and who did not want to be named welcomed the changes.

“With the pit remaining active for so long the village it hasn’t had the regeneration money allocated at all,” he said.

“Everything I think the Towns Fund is going to focus on it is definitely in the direction of the current Local plan. We asked 700 people in the area in our consultation what they thought should be done to improve the area.

Craig Piper, who moved to Stainforth in February.

“The country park is going to be the big one . I have been looking at that slag heap all my life- I think it is time for it to go and turning it into a country park is a great idea.

“The headstocks are some of the only ones remaining in the country.

“The plan would be to make them safe and turn it into an iconic view for anyone driving in off the motorway, particularly if they are lit up at night.

He welcomed the The public realm improvements improving shop fronts which he said would depend upon the business owners intention of match funding it.

The Towns Fund cash was part of a much wider set of schemes to develop Stainforth and the surrounding area.

“We are looking at a wider set of developments with the neighbourhood plan, everything from the M18 link road, the development in Hatfield , the development at the Marina , turning the tip into a country park. It raises peoples aspirations. The DN7 the Unity Project and the towns Fund are all linked together.”

He added: “There is a development called Unity Town where they will be building houses on the other side of the bridge.

“A lot of this started with the building of the link road which coincided with Brexit so it was European money which had to be spent. The M18 link road is now in . Businesses will be developed on the Dunscroft side as well with new shops a health centre and a school

“It raises people’s expectations, their aspirations and as things develop then the economy has got to go up from there .

“We want to improve the housing stock too instead of the two and three-bedroomed houses we’ve got here so when people do well they move away.

“So if we can put some bigger and better quality of houses perhaps people will stay and help to build a community.”

Another resident who wanted to remain anonymous said: “What the Town’s Fund is going to do is focus on more holistic projects, things that will uplift and benefit Stainforth’s heritage and uplift the visual state of the town.

“The new station footbridge so the railway station footbridge is actually coming from the Stainforth side instead of having to walk all the way round to Dunscroft and then come back on yourself, which is a lot better.”