A run down shopping centre is set for a bright future after a number of businesses pledged their long term future to the site ahead of a planned redevelopment.
Regeneration specialists St Modwen has vowed to spruce up the Waterdale Shopping Centre in Doncaster town centre after purchasing it for £3,675,000 at auction.
Work is yet to begin on site as project leaders are still working behind the scenes on a schedule for improvements.
But company bosses as well as business and civic leaders have hailed the announcement that 11 new leases have been signed as evidence that the shopping hub will have a long term future. The contracts tie the firms to the site for at least the next three years and it is hoped they will act as a catalyst to attract more businesses to Waterdale.
Richard Bannister, development manager at St Modwen, said: “We are committed to revitalising the site.
“We continue to progress our plans to give a new lease of life to the centre, and we are in ongoing discussions with potential new tenants to provide a better shopping experience for customers.”
New tenants include HDH Law and Hairkraft.
They join existing retailers, including Cooplands, Doncaster Refurnish, Mick’s Cabs, Café Java and Cafe Alfresco, in signing extended contracts.
Skellow man John Rathbone, 59, manager at household goods store Doncaster Refurnish, said: “A refurbishment of the centre would bring more customers in. That would have a knock on effect and get more businesses to the centre.”
St Modwen has not yet revealed when work will start as project leaders are still working out how the regeneration will take shape.
But improvements will involve transforming the 1960s-built centre to provide a “modern, attractive space for both retailers and customers.”
There will also be new signage and branding, along with a marketing campaign designed to drive footfall.
A spokesman for the company said artists’ impressions of the new look centre could be available within the next “two to three months.”
Doncaster mayor Ros Jones said: “We would be very pleased to see the area developed in line with the fantastic standard of building we can see in the Civic and Cultural Quarter.”
Dan Fell, deputy chief executive officer of Doncaster Chamber, said: “Further regeneration of the town centre will support local retailers. Investment in the Waterdale Shopping Centre is therefore very welcome.”
The centre comprises of 46 retail units and 37 flats.