Shops planned for derelict Doncaster Walkabout

A derelict Doncaster bar is set to be transformed into a retail development, bringing new jobs to the town.

Wednesday, 18th May 2016, 9:49 am
Updated Wednesday, 18th May 2016, 9:51 am
Derelict club to be transformed into retail development in Priory Walk, Doncaster

The former Walkabout bar in Priory Walk, Doncaster town centre, will become home to a sports shop and two fashion retailers.

Sports Direct, high street fashion retailer USC and desinger favourite Flannels are currently recruiting for staff to work in the new Doncaster branches.

It is unclear when the development will open or how many new jobs will be created at this stage.

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Business leaders have welcomed the move, which they say will increase footfall in the town centre.

Doncaster Chamber CEO Dan Fell said: “It’s positive news that well-known retailers are opening new stores in the town centre – especially as the long term impact of the global recession continues to be felt in the retail sector.

“The shops will drive more footfall and enhance the already strong tenant mix in Priory Walk.

“Retail is a strong part of Doncaster’s economy which is important for inward investment and employment.”

The Doncaster branch of Australian-themed bar Walkabout closed its doors in March last year after the firm said it was making a loss.

The building, owned by Lazarus Properties, has stood empty since Walkabout, formerly one of Doncaster’s largest town centre nightspots, closed.

The retailers are yet to confirm when the shops will be open for business or how many new positions will be created but signs outside the development say they are ‘coming soon.’

The news comes after a turbulent few months for retailers in Doncaster town centre.

Clas Ohlson, which has had a store in the Frenchgate Centre since December 2010 and employs 15 members of staff, said it will be closing the store in June following lower than expected sales.

The Clas Ohlson closure confirmation followed more bad news with the announcement that family favourite BHS had gone into administration.

While no plans have yet been announced to close any of its 164 branches, which include one in Doncaster’s Frenchgate, it spells an uncertain future for the 11,000 employees.

BHS has been in business for 88 years and at the heart of Doncaster’s shopping centre for four decades.