REVEALED: Doncaster council's vision for a revamped marketplace
With new buildings next to the current markets car park, and what designers describe as a market square, pictured here complete with fountains, the scheme forms a part of the borough’s multi-million pound Doncaster town centre masterplan.
The new buildings would be combined with a new pedestrian route designed to encourage more people to head for the market square, part of a proposed wholesale transformation of the town centre.
Bosses at Doncaster Council hope the plans will help make the market a vibrant location all week long and to become the jewel in the borough’s crown once again.
The new proposals, which will be further developed in consultation with traders, will focus on the heritage of the market, its current stalls and new improvements.
Coun Glyn Jones, Deputy Mayor, said of the plans: “We have already invested in the market area and the SCRIF (Sheffield City Region Investment Fund) funding of over £3 million that we have applied for would build on that investment to make the markets the vibrant heart of the town centre once again.
“We are also investing to renovate the exterior of the Corn Exchange so once again it can stand proud in the market area as the grand centre piece.
“We are investing a lot into our market area but we cannot do this alone. We do need the support of all the traders and the public to make this vision a reality.”
The plans will see the markets area connected to the Doncaster Minster and the waterfront with new buildings, framing what officials describe as a quality walkthrough between them.
The proposed new layouts have been designed to encourage people to filter their way through the markets if they are heading to other parts of the town centre, so more people pass through.
In addition, the Irish Middle Market is also set to be consolidated into the existing market hall building, with the space it currently occupies being used to extend the car park.
It is hoped this will help to attract more visitors to the area and open up clearer sight lines to the Grade II listed Wool Market building which will also be weatherproofed.
A Doncaster Council spokesman said: “By doing this we will be able to offer food, entertainment and a much improved trading venue that can be used any day of the week, any weather and also into evenings.”
The overhaul of the Corn Exchange is underway and the plans for the Wool Market will also transform the building in a bid to make it more inviting and appealing to visitors.
The council says initial discussions have already been held with some traders, and that these will continue in the coming months as the plans become firmer.
There is space in the new proposal for all traders who wish to continue trading in the new market space.
Mayor Ros Jones said: “I can announce that we are also producing a new ‘Doncaster Markets 2025 strategy’ to ensure the markets continue to improve and remain successful in the coming years. Regeneration of the markets area is a key cornerstone of the masterplan.
“We are determined to create a successful markets area, which is vibrant seven days a week rather than just on market days.
“Our new plans will make the most of our iconic heritage buildings, including the Corn Exchange and Wool Market.
“Restoration work has already started on the Corn Exchange building and the plan will also deliver additional parking at the popular markets car park.
“Together, these initiatives demonstrate how my cabinet and I are delivering a comprehensive and achievable plan to maximise the success of our markets, and our whole town centre.”
Trader Nigel Berry says he welcomes efforts to improve things at the markets, but adds that the council also needs to address a number of issues now.
He said: “We’ve been told the markets are going to be transformed many times.
“It’s all well and good having an idea, anyone can have that but actually seeing it through is what counts.
“Knocking down the Irish Middle Market and using it to extend the car park is a brilliant idea.
“But we need these changes now.
“Quite a few traders say they’re going to have to pack up before Christmas, due to high rents and low turnover.
“There’s no point doing up the markets if all of the traders have packed up before it’s completed.”
Doncaster Council says it has put a number of measures in place in response to concerns raised by traders.
- The markets will be open seven days a week from December 12
- A full review of market rents and charges is currently being undertaken
- All traders given the opportunity to advertise their business free of charge on the Visit Doncaster website
- Coach Operators Newsletter – 200 Coach Operators who have been to Doncaster Market’s will be sent a monthly newsletter – Traders have been asked to participate.
- The market has advertised extensively this year in many monthly and annual publications promoting the market.
Free Parking will be available:
- Saturday December 3 - Tuesday January 3; first three hours free at Chappell Drive Car Park
- Saturday December 24– Wednesday December 28; DMBC surface carparks free between 3pm and 8am
- Saturday December 31 to Tuesday January 3; DMBC surface carparks free between 3pm and 8am