Doncaster heritage sites including the former Museum and Art Gallery, Grand Theatre and St James’ Church set for major renovations

Doncaster Council has submitted a plan for renovations and improvements to heritage sites across the borough.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 11:31 am

A business proposal worth around £560,000 has been submitted to renovate and alter three sites in and around the town centre.

These include, Doncaster’s former Museum and Art Gallery, Doncaster Grand Theatre and St James’ Church on St Sepulchre Gate West.

The first project involving the former museum and art gallery will use Doncaster Towns Deal Heritage project funds to support the creation of a public facing facility in the guise of a ‘multi-use space’ for heritage events, family history research and archive facilities at a cost of £450,000.

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St James’ Church on St Sepulchre Gate West

In relation to Doncaster Grand Theatre, a full feasibility study will be undertaken alongside the Theatres Trust.

Council bosses say this is the ‘first, essential step’ to identifying the future for one of Doncaster’s most iconic cultural and heritage assets, with ‘strong public opinion’ on its restoration at an intial cost of £18,500.

A further £3,750 will also contribute to renovation work for the theatre’s façade.

With the St James’ Church project costing £18,750, the council will use the Town Deals heritage funding to commission a full feasibility study om renovations.

The Royal Institute of British Architects will also identify how the ‘church’s vision of enhancing the quality and offer’ can benefit the community in ‘celebrating the church’s heritage’ as the religious building for people working on the railway.

A total of £2,076,500 match funding has been identified to support the theatre and the former museum projects.

Neil Armstrong, senior programme and project manager at DMBC, said: “The overarching aim of the Doncaster Towns Deal is to help to increase economic growth with a focus on regeneration, improved transport, better broadband connectivity, skills and culture.

“The Doncaster Towns Deal Heritage Project provides an exciting opportunity for Doncaster to benefit from significant revitalisation of key heritage assets.

“The schemes identified within the business case have been carefully identified, assessed and selected using robust criteria – including feedback from public consultation.

“The heritage project outcomes and recommendations have been reviewed and approved by the private sector led Town Deal Boards.

“The approval and submission of the business case for Doncaster heritage will lead to significant transformation, which should be embraced.”