Â£5m Doncaster market transformation takes a step forward
The Â£5m regeneration of Doncaster market - described as the 'jewel in the crown' of the town centre - has moved a step closer.
Doncaster Council says it is ready to begin detailed planning work and is seeking traders' views about what changes they want to see.
The plans so far include consolidating the Irish Middle Market building into the market hall building and using the space created to extend the car park site in an attempt to attract more visitors.
The council says this will open up views of the Grade II-listed building and enable it to offer food, entertainment and trading throughout the week and into the evenings.
Quarterbridge, which has helped transform markets from Brixton to Blackburn, has been brought in to work on plans for Doncaster.
Doncaster mayor Ros Jones said: "We have a wonderful market in Doncaster and one that we are very proud of. We are ambitious for Doncaster and the markets and we want to make them the best in the country. To achieve this we need help from the experts. We need to see things change for the better and this is what Quarterbridge bring.
“They are the experts in this field and have a proven track record in transforming markets across the country. They have been doing it for many years and Raymond Linch, its managing director, designed and built the wonderful fish market 25 years ago.
“We have a long term vision for the future of the market and we know with Quarterbridge’s advice we can see that vision come to fruition. The expertise we receive from Quarterbridge can and will be applied to other areas across the borough.”
The market's regeneration will be funded by Â£3m from the Sheffield City Region Investment Fund and Â£2.1m from Doncaster Council's coffers.
Quarterbridge and the council plan to meet traders over coming months to support and advise them on how to 'enhance' their business offer, and to find out what changes stallholders would like to see.
Raymond Linch, managing director of Quarterbridge, said: "I am delighted to be back in Doncaster after all these years and despite a challenging trading environment, the town centre’s market estate continues to provide the good folk of Doncaster with a significant retail offer.
"Our intention is to re-model the market itself and change mind sets so that Doncaster market can be truly considered as one of the most important retailers in town, with an irresistible food retail and catering (street food) offer."