Doncaster Council: £70,000 to be spent on revamping empty food hall units

Corn Exchange in Doncaster Market which houses the food hall. Picture: George Torr

Doncaster Council plans to spend £70,000 revamping units inside the market food hall. 

Three areas are being targeted by council bosses who said the units as they currently are likely to stay vacant without significant investment. 

Documents seen by councillor said the areas have stood ‘unoccupied for a significant amount of time’ and the redevelopment aims to improve aesthetics within the food hall ‘potentially increasing the rental income’ to the authority. 

Work is hoped to ‘open up sight lines’ and enable ‘more flexible use’ to generate additional income from short term lettings for pop up food stalls.

As the sale of food other than fruit and veg is not allowed on the outer market stalls, the move is hoped to enable the market to offer space to food traders on a casual, short term basis.

Council bosses said previous tenants had left the areas in a ‘poor state’ and are ‘not attractive to potential traders’ giving it the impression of a ‘run down market hall. 

One area is made up of five units that were opened up to create a very large butchery. Bosses added it was ‘highly unlikely’ that the unit will be re-let due to the ‘size and associated cost’ of renting the space.

Richard Gibbons, an officer working within the regeneration and environment team at Doncaster Council, said: “The areas for development have been left by previous tenants in a poor state and look unsightly.

“They also block sight-lines and are not attractive to potential traders due to the significant investment required by small business owners and entrepreneurs to make the spaces fit for purpose.

“Without investment, these areas are likely to remain vacant, will continue to deteriorate and hinder the Markets ability to reach full occupancy.

“All three of these areas have a direct impact upon the existing traders in this building as visitors entering the food hall are greeted by large blocks of stalls in need of redevelopment, giving an impression of a run down market hall.”

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