My View, Laurie Barton Wright: Exciting times at Frenchgate

The public queue outside Bargain Buys, St Sepulchre Gate as they wait for the store to open. Picture: Andrew Roe
The public queue outside Bargain Buys, St Sepulchre Gate as they wait for the store to open. Picture: Andrew Roe

It’s time to relax – but only a little – after a busy Christmas period at the Frenchgate Centre in which we welcomed thousands of shoppers to the centre.

We had some very hectic days – Christmas Eve for last minute shoppers and Boxing Day for early bird bargain hunters were among our busiest days.

Following Black Friday in November it seems we all love a good deal.

But alongside all the spending we were also proud to welcome so many different schools and community groups to the centre to sing carols and entertain shoppers.

We played host to the Memory Tree once again on behalf of Doncaster Cancer Detection Trust. Generous customers raised over £6,000, bringing the total to £72,000 for the past 16 years the tree has been at Frenchgate.

We think that was very impressive.

We have also seen some new businesses moving into the centre over the last few weeks.

We welcomed The Georgian Tea Rooms to the centre. The popular restaurant, which is located on the High Street in Doncaster, opened its second café in December and chose to locate it in the Frenchgate Centre on the upper mall.

Called ‘The Georgian Patisserie’, the new café offers a selection of patisserie items, paninis and baguettes as well a hugely popular afternoon tea.

Doncaster’s elected mayor joined us last week to officially open the new Bargain Buys store in the centre.

Customers were obviously excited as we saw queues forming ready for the official opening on Friday morning.

And the excitement carried on throughout the weekend with the store smashing all its targets as shoppers took advantage of some of the amazing offers.

It is important for us to be able to offer a range of shops and outlets to meet all of our customers’ needs from popular discount stores to major fashion brands such as Schuh, Pandora and Monsoon.

Last year lots of our big shops undwent refurbishments and new stores including Pandora opened in Doncaster and we are expecting big things of 2015.

It is a great time to be in Doncaster as there is so much happening in the town.

Developments are being planned, projects gathering a pace and for us at the centre it has been great to see new stores and eateries adding to our offer to customers.

Plus there is a real drive for businesses to work together for the good of the town and groups like Doncaster Tourism are bringing together organisations to share plans and devise ways for us to shout louder about the town.

But for now, the sales are still on and there are many bargains to be had so we hope to see you all in the centre.

And if shopping is not for you, let me promise you The Georgian Patisserie is well worth a visit for the cakes!