£1.4m facelift for markets

Doncaster Market
Doncaster Market
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THREE of Doncaster’s markets now look set to share £1.37 million for a major facelift, after Doncaster Council finally agreed to a package of improvements.

Under the proposals agreed by the full council last night, Mexborough, and Rossington markets will be transformed in addition to the main Doncaster outdoor market in the town centre.

Doncaster Market

Doncaster Market

But a question mark now hangs over whether Thorne will get any cash after a Labour amendment at last night’s Doncaster Council meeting decided to set specific amounts of cash to each of the markets earmarked for help.

Thorne was not included in the figures that were agreed.

The plans were first put forward by mayor Peter Davies earlier this year, with proposals to revamp the outdoor market. The main Doncaster Market revamp can now go ahead immediately using up to £900,000 approved by full council last night.

The plans for the town centre will see the stalls re-arranged to make the wool market more accessible. All the existing 138 stalls, described by officials as dilapidated and functionally obsolete, will be removed and replaced with 100 more modern ones, with space for another 50 removable stalls.

Experts at the council believe it will freshen up the site and sustain around 1,000 jobs around the market. All stalls would have access to electricity, so they could potentially take card payments for goods, and have what officers describe as proper lighting.

The aim is to increase footfall by up 10 per cent at the outdoor market, and 15 per cent in the wool market.

The plans had also been looking to spend £150,000 to £170,000 on Mexborough market, where councillors were told the take up of stalls on the outer market on York Square was in decline. But last night, councillors voted to provide it with up to £350,000.

Cash would be used to remove some of the current stalls and re-roof the market with a new lighter structure. The current roof leaks. The plans could also see the current stalls removed and replaced with removable ones, arranged in a way to open up the square according to officers.

Officers also believe the scheme will allow stalls to spill out onto Mexborough High Street, which they expect to attract more people into the market.

The report describes the current outer market there as dark and gloomy, and says the market is seen as an important contributor to maintaining the vitality of Mexborough town centre.

Rossington market, which is open one day a week had been due to get £30,000 to £50,000 through the scheme. But councillors voted to hand it up to £70,000. The proposals approved by councillors may see the layout of stalls altered and the structures replaced of refurbished.

There are proposals for a changed layout which may mean events could be held in the market area, and surrounded buildings spruced up. Bosses say it may help bring in a second market day at the site.

Thorne, which is owned by Thorne and Moorends Town Council, would receive nothing under the plans agreed last night.

The plans would originally have seen £150,000 ploughed into Thorne market.

Officers say the market there is currently surrounded by unsightly, and improving its backdrop may be one possible plan for use with the cash. Others under consideration are improving the links between the market and the rest of Thorne town centre.

Mayor Peter Davies said he would try to find a way find money to be put into improving Thorne market, as he saw improvements there as as important as those in Mexborough.

He said: “They have cut Thorne out of the plans, which I think is divisive. My plan had been what Mexborough gets, Thorne gets. They are two of the main towns in the borough that need regeneration.”

Doncaster Market Traders Federation committee member Nigel Berry said he was delighted the scheme had finally been given the go ahead for the main town centre market.

He said: “It is great for the market. The old market has been crying out for a revamp. There should be enough room to move traders around while the work is being done to that it’s not too disruptive.”