Privatisation of Doncaster and Mexborough markets takes next step as Cabinet consider appointing this ‘expert provider’

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Plans have been drawn up which would hand over the running of Doncaster and Mexborough markets to a private firm.  

Cabinet will decide next week on whether to allow council officers’ preferred bidder, Essex-based Market Asset Management (Doncaster) Ltd, to run the services.

The arrangement will means Doncaster Council will continue to own the market buildings with MAM (Doncaster) Ltd being responsible for staffing, management and maintenance. 

Local authority bosses have said the move will save the council £219k per year which includes a ‘guaranteed annual income’ of £122k.

But one market trader who didn’t wish to be named said the sum was ‘measly’. 

MAM (Doncaster) has told the council it will make a‘significant investment’ in the markets of £2.3m in the first five years with £6.2m invested over the proposed 25 year contract. 

The company changed its’ named from Market Asset Management (Rochdale) Ltd after they were told by Rochdale Council they were no longer needed following a dispute in September last year. 

Coun Joe Blackham, cabinet member for highways, street scene and traded services, said: “The council has made significant investment in the Doncaster Markets in recent years and bringing on board an experienced markets operator at this stage will make sure the markets are able to reach their full potential. This is about transforming our historic markets and cementing them firmly at the heart of Doncaster and Mexborough town centres. 

“This will bring about much needed change, making the markets a vibrant destination for shopping, eating out, entertainment and business and will complement the work being done in the wider town centre, contributing to Doncaster’s unique offer and attracting visitors from far and wide.”

A Doncaster Council spokesman said: “Market Asset Management (Doncaster) Ltd, having used their expertise in a number of other locations across the country, will work in consultation with existing traders to implement this work which will enhance the overall customer experience and complement the almost complete newly refurbished Wool Market.

“These improvements, along with expert retail management will position the markets as a vibrant destination for shopping, eating out, entertainment and entrepreneurism, putting the markets at the enterprising heart of Doncaster.”