Doncaster town centre could be set for a major transformation under multi-million pound regeneration plans.
Some £20 million is being targeted on the Doncaster Urban Centre - a masterplan which would completely overhaul the middle of the town, with money coming from the Sheffield City Region Investment Fund.
Among the schemes is a proposal to totally refurbish and modernise The Colonnades building.
The others would involve the transformation of Doncaster Waterfront, the area near the town’s main drinking areas near Silver Street, and the area around the railway station.
Under the plans around £2.3 million would be used to redevelop The Colonnades, between Printing Office Street and Duke Street. The aim is to increase footfall, secure anchor tenants for the retail units and to improve the marketability of the offices.
Also planned is a Quality Streets scheme - as part of which £1.4m would be used to refurbish and enhance public spaces and footpaths in areas such as Hallgate, Silver Street and Cleveland Street, increasing their attractiveness.
Just over £8 million would be spent on revamping St Sepulchre West and the station forecourt, providing a ‘new gateway to Doncaster’. Parking spaces would be moved and changes made to boost safety for pedestrians.
A further element of the Doncaster Urban Centre would be an £8.3 million Waterfront scheme - a ‘vibrant, mixed-use quarter’ on an empty 15-hectare site.
Dan Fell, chief executive officer of Doncaster Chamber: “With many regeneration schemes currently taking place, improved infrastructure and the growth of local businesses, Doncaster is increasingly becoming an attractive place to do business. This much-needed investment should help give businesses the premises and footfall they need to succeed and positively contribute to the town’s economic growth.”
And the Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, said: “The schemes were part of a number of exciting projects we are working up plans for which will bring significant investment into the borough and drive regeneration.
She said: “They will complement work which is well underway with the civic and cultural quarter and help to make the town centre an even more attractive proposition for visitors, businesses, investors and of course our residents.”
A spokesman for Virgin Trains, which runs Doncaster Station, said: “This is great news for Doncaster and the wider region. We’ve already invested close to £30m in the first fifteen months of our franchise and customers are really starting to see the benefits. With new trains on the horizon we welcome any scheme that improves the customer experience further and look forward to working with all parties to make it happen and give the town a station to be proud of.”
The Sheffield City Region Investment Fund brings together several different funding streams to pay for essential infrastructure projects.
The plans would follow a number of other high-profile developments in the town centre, the most high profile being the civic and cultural quarter refurbishment, which brought a new council office building, the Cast performance venue, and the Sir Nigel Gresley Square.
It re-used land previously home to a car park and the former Doncaster College building, and work is still ongoing, with plans in place for a cinema and housing also in the pipeline.
And £1 million was spent on modernising Doncaster Market, with new stalls created as well as space for events between the stalls and the corn exchange.