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Doncaster town centre set to benefit from £18.6m Levelling Up funding

Ambitious plans to transform Doncaster town centre have moved closer to reality with a £18.6 million cash injection from the Government’s Levelling Up fund.

Doncaster’s bid was announced in last week’s budget as one of the first successful bids to the Fund, set up earlier this year to channel infrastructure funding into areas in need of an economic boost.

The money will fund three aligned town centre projects:

  • To start the transformation of Waterfront to become a natural extension of the town centre and a destination in its own right including green space for the benefit of local residents and visitors. Part of the site is also anticipated to be redeveloped into a hospital, film studio and other uses to enhance innovation and skills over the coming years.
  • Further regeneration of the Enterprise Market Place to protect and enhance the iconic Grade II* Listed Corn Exchange and encourage the retention and restoration of traditional shop fronts on surrounding streets. The Enterprise Markets have always been a fundamental part of the town’s identity and remain at the heart of future town centre plans. The funding will support Doncaster’s ambition to evolve and diversify Doncaster Marketplace for the 21st century.
  • Developing the wider area around the Civic and Cultural Quarter (CCQ) by improving the culture and public realm offer to complement recent regeneration. It will bring the abandoned 1930s St James Baths building back into use as a new spa and leisure facility, demolish the old central library and Copley House and deliver new outdoor space.

Both the Civic and Waterfront projects will also contribute to net zero 2050. Derelict buildings and contaminated brownfield will be transformed into public realm and green space respectively to create new spaces within the urban centre that improve air quality and increase biodiversity.

Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the funding news – this is a real boost to Doncaster.

“The funding that we’ve secured will complement all the work underway with our partners to revitalise the town centre as part of our Urban Centre Masterplan increasing the attractiveness of Doncaster to encourage more people into the town.

“We welcome this further opportunity to progress the redevelopment of key areas of the town centre that will see transformation of ageing and abandoned buildings into usable amenity space, providing an attractive public realm that encourages footfall, boosting green space and supporting active travel. In addition, developing civic pride by investing in culture, housing, infrastructure, connectivity and the environment.

“The projects will also support new businesses, many of which will create jobs, and the redevelopment of St James Baths will provide both employment opportunities and facilities that will enable residents to actively participate in sports and physical activity.”

Mayor Jones added: “We are immensely proud of Doncaster and passionate about further unlocking its huge potential as reflected in our recent bid for City Status. The £18.6m funding will assist in our journey to create a better future for our residents, businesses and visitors.”

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