Becoming a city ‘would help bring in investment, skilled workers and tourists to Doncaster – but is no magic wand’

Doncaster should fight to be made a city because it would help bring in investment, skilled workers and tourists, believes a senior borough business figure.

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 4:58 pm

But Dan Fell, chief executive of the borough’s chamber of commerce warns it would not be a magic wand and believes leaders need to assess residents’ appetite for the campaign before making a decision on applying for the status.

The Government confirmed this week that The Queen would be conferring city status on towns to mark her jubilee in 2022 – the first time the status has been given out in 10 years.

Doncaster had previously applied unsuccessfully in 2000, 2002, and 2012.

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Doncaster Minster....29th August 2017 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

But Doncaster Chamber boss Mr Fell said: “Achieving city status would not be a magic wand for tackling some of Doncaster’s challenges and nor would it mean that we immediately realise all of our opportunities. However, as our borough recovers from the bruising effects of the pandemic, firing the starting gun on a city status campaign would be a big declaration of intent when it came to thinking big and being ambitious for Doncaster’s businesses and communities.

"City status would help to put Doncaster increasingly on the map for inward investors, skilled workers and tourists. Additionally, it would give Doncaster an improved seat at the table when it came to influencing and benefiting from government policy.

“Clearly, more needs to be done to demonstrate the benefits of city status to residents and businesses alike. Also, before our borough launches large campaign, it is important to properly test the local appetite for this given the raft of other pressing priorities in the current climate. However, subject to approval from the local business community, the Chamber would be very supportive of Doncaster mounting a boisterous campaign and will work tenaciously with partner to try and make city status a reality for Doncaster.”

Doncaster Council is yet to comment.

Opinion on the Free Press’ Facebook page was split.

One comment said: “I have worked outside of Doncaster and the amount of times i have to correct people that we are not a city is astonishing.”

But another added: “Doncaster was a great market town, now the markets nearly gone too. City status will only drive council taxes up so the council can waste more, with nothing extra to show.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.