Doncaster makes its bid for city status in a week – why are we doing it?
Doncaster has until the 8th December to make its case for city status loud and clear. This week we feature two distinct voices on what the city status bid means for them.
Team Doncaster Partnership say: “From Bentley to Bessacarr, Mexborough to Moorends, Stainforth to Sprotbrough and Tickhill to Thorne, Doncaster would be a unique city, made up of proud communities and made special by the people who live and work here.
“Pride in your local area and your community is very strong. We also know that our residents want the best for the area, and their families, too.
“That’s why we’re going for it. We believe we are special in wanting to be a city of places – our villages and town have their strong identities and perspectives, history and landmarks – and to unite this with city status for the whole borough would, we believe, add another benefit to this great borough.”
Achieving City Status would help attract more investment for Doncaster and improve opportunities and life chances for our residents and communities, whilst celebrating our diversity and everything that makes Doncaster so special.
Jill Wood, President of Doncaster Chamber of Commerce and Managing Director of Signum Facilities Management Ltd.
“The top positives for me about becoming a city are about the inward investment that feeds into education and skills and health and wellbeing.
“We already act look and feel like a city.
“Doncaster is my adopted home of 20 years.
“As a business owner and President of Doncaster Chamber I know more about how funding streams work and initiatives work – how things happen in Doncaster - than if I was just a working resident and a mum with two boys.
“Pre-pandemic we were one of the fastest growing economies in the UK.
“And Doncaster as a place has always been really good at finding investment opportunities, link roads, the airport and things like that
“That has to come from some strong lobbying and really strong business case and vision for a place.
“I think we have got a really strong vision and what that means is that for example when we want our new hospital, we have already got that vision in place.
“If we gain city status that will help us because we will have a greater voice.
"As a parent that city status helps us to gain traction with the new hospital bid and that’s there to help care for my family.
“Better access to services – and equally if it is a teaching hospital – new technologies can actually be developed on our doorsteps.
“If we had a new teaching hospital in a city, outside investment from other areas of the country is more likely - or they will look more favourably on a city.
“Cities always attract greater investment and that investment means big organisations. It means better pay, better skilled jobs, more pounds going round in the local economy and it attracts people in.
“We are a town of towns already and we have very different communities within that.
"For me it just strengthens what we are already building on, It’s just going to help us deliver that vision a little bit quicker.
“If you were looking around on the Internet where to place your funding you would go for a city because they are deemed to be more stable and a more thriving economy.
“Attracting more diverse employers could turn into an education route.
“We’ve seen that with the AMRC training centre on the borders of the city region. They’ve got that investment and we’re pushing technical qualifications . We’ve got the UTC in town, the advanced transport and infrastructure colleges . Enhancing the pathways will mean young people don’t have to leave Doncaster.
“Someone once said about Doncaster that you could be anything from an architect to a zookeeper in one town.
“How many other towns can boast that diverse career path?”
Glyn Butcher works at the People Focused Group (PFG) at Intake which is a peer support group. He joined the Doncaster City Project to bring a community aspect to the discussions.
"I’m a Doncaster lad, born and bred in Denaby.
“I support the bid because I love being in Doncaster and working in Doncaster. It is the centre of everything I do.
“I work there every day at the wellness centre, where I champion people with disabilities. I have autism and mental health issues and long term asthma and diabetes.
“One of the biggest things about Doncaster for me is the wealth of love that Doncaster gives people. Doncaster doesn’t write people off with disabilities.
“Bringing more investment into our city would reduce debt hardship and poverty in our community.
“There would be more jobs on offer more opportunities for people to volunteer and become part of something bigger than themselves.
“New people will work in our borough, go to school, buy homes.
“For me it is about reducing stigma and discrimination. It’s about the culture which will come into our city which will enrich it.
“We can do this as a town, but we are already a city just not by name. What Doncaster has in spades, by becoming a city will make it stronger. It will be a healthier place to be and for our children to grow up.
“We will be able to do it on a bigger scale. The place will be more creative and dynamic more entrepreneurship will come into Doncaster as people share their skills with us.
“Where I work more people will have the opportunity to communicate with more different kinds of people. It will reduce stereotypes and stereotypical behaviour by understanding different cultures and religions.
“Our support group is for people living on the edge of community and by us being a city it will bring them back into the city from the edge, where people should be celebrating each other our communities and diversity.”