More details on Doncaster town centre regeneration projects including Corn Exchange, St James' Baths and Waterfront development

New plans have been revealed to show how four Doncaster town centre regeneration projects could look in the future.

Monday, 17th January 2022, 5:56 pm
An artist's impression of the Waterfront development close to Doncaster town centre

Last year, Doncaster Council was successful in securing £18.6 million in renovating the derelict Grade II listed St James Baths and turning a rubble-strewn area of Waterdale into a new ‘public realm’.

The money has also been set aside to improve the Corn Exchange and lay the ground works for a potential film studio along the town’s Waterfront as well as further developments which could include a potential new hospital.

Just under £5 million will be used to regenerate the ‘historic’ Corn Exchange building with an ‘increased arts and culture offer’. Another part of the money will be spent on renovating 70 shop fronts through a grant scheme on Scot Lane and Goose Hill with the aim of creating ‘a coherent and attractive landscape in the market area’.

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An artist's impression of the redevelopment of Waterdale

Another £4.7 million has been earmarked for the redevelopment of the abandoned 1930’s St James’ Baths alongside a commercial party to open up the iconic building again, potentially as a luxury spa and leisure facility.

This is dependent on the final model and will require a legal agreement between the council and the private occupier.

As part of the same plan, Copley House and the old central library are set for demolition. Council bosses say the buildings are ‘no longer viable’ for modern use to make way for a ‘high quality extended public realm’, or potentially attract high quality private sector developments close to the new improved public area.

The final part of the bid at nearly £9 million comes in the remediation disused space at Waterfront site to decontaminate the area and ensure the site is in a developmental state and create a temporary public green space.

An artist's impression of the planned renovation of St James' Baths

Acquisition of key sections of land is aimed to improve access and viability of the overall site. Bosses say the site will have potential to ‘attract a number of transformational developments’ which could include: the destination for a new hospital, and supporting multiple health related infrastructure, residential, and teaching facilities; and additional opportunities to develop around the marina.

Mitchell Salter, senior policy and insight manager at DMBC, said: “The overarching aim of the Levelling Up Fund is to invest in capital projects to help improve local infrastructure. These improvements will have a visible, tangible impact on people and places, and support economic recovery in Doncaster.

“Doncaster town centre is critical to the economic future of the borough and central to our levelling up programme. It is a key location in the regional strategic economic plan, which aims to increase productivity, skills, economic resilience, and the health and wellbeing of residents.

“The projects without Doncaster’s successful application will help meet the strategic objectives of plans, and provide a more diverse town centre offer for residents.”

Members of Mayor Ros Jones cabinet are expected to rubber-stamp the proposals this week.