Don Your Way column: Why Doncaster’s new Wool Market is something to shout about
Unless you have been living in a cave, all talk in Doncaster this week has revolved around one thing.
No, I'm not talking about the ongoing hell of the dreaded B word (I'm forever steering clear of that in this column) but instead the grand opening of the town's refurbished and revamped Wool Market.
Just in case you have been living in the aforementioned cave, £7 million has been spent on turning the indoor hall into a brand new food and drink extravaganza in a bid to inject new life into the market.
Craft ale, street food, quirky stalls, the new look Wool Market is far removed from noisy traders chucking apples in a bag, but is being marketed (excuse the pun) as a valuable and different commodity for the town to enjoy and revitalising the economy.
Not just a daytime venue, the new Wool Market also offers booze and night time live entertainment - as well as a whole host of new and exciting food options.
On its opening weekend just passed. an impressive 75,000 people crammed in to have a look.
Unfortunately, as yet, I'm not one of them as due to one thing or another, I've not had chance to pop down and nosey about.
Typically, in a town where people are ready to complain about closed shops, drug and drink problems and anti-social behaviour, many have poured scorn on the new Wool Market.
"Waste of money," "nothing there," "won't last," and "expensive and posh" were just some of the accusations levelled at the town's new jewel in the crown.
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We want and demand new things and changes and when we get them, people still complain and moan.
OK, it might not be to all tastes and traditionalists wanting second hand stalls or bric a brac might well be disappointed.
But times change and we have to accept that markets, not just in Doncaster, but nationwide, don't draw in people like they used to.
Supermarkets make it easy for us to get our fruit, veg and meat and fish and if that particular area of trade is dying, then Doncaster Council is doing the right thing to find new revenue streams and also to give a rundown part of town a much needed shot in the arm and a new lease of life.
I've spoken to several people who have visited and they've been full of praise.
OK, there might be teething troubles and a few lessons to be learned, but chances are they will soon be ironed out and the new Wool Market will grow in stature into a trendy little area that gives the town something new and different to be proud of.
So, if you haven't been to explore yet, like me, put your doubts aside and go and take a gander.
I'm looking forward to getting down there as soon as and look forward to reporting back.