Doncaster's Regeneration Plan in Full Swing

Doncaster town centre is open for business. That’s the message Doncaster Council is getting across to the property industry!

Wool Market: the council will regenerate the market hall and greater area

The council is bringing forward a number of key sites in and around the town centre as part of ambitious plans to regenerate the town, which, like many other UK regional centres, has suffered over the past decade because of the ongoing fallout from the recession.

The council is adopting a unique approach to development to ensure that its plans for the town aren’t just a pipe dream. So, what do the plans entail and what opportunities lie in store for property developers and investors who are willing to take the plunge?

The council’s vision for Doncaster was unveiled in late 2016 in an urban centre masterplan. It focused on nine new development opportunities across the town centre, a number of which have already started to come to fruition.

One of the most important projects was a new station gateway, which is under way. According to Scott Cardwell, assistant director for development at Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, there are dozens of trains per day between Doncaster and London. The journey time now is around one hour 45 minutes, but that will be reduced to just 75 minutes later this year when new high-speed Azuma trains are introduced to the line.

As well as delivering a “sense of place and arrival”, the new gateway will make the station much more accessible to the town centre and potentially open up a series of development sites in the immediate vicinity, including St. Peter's House.

Opportunity knocks

“We own some significant sites within a five to 10-minute walk of Doncaster’s urban centre, so this whole station gateway is more than just about creating public realm. There is a massive opportunity around [the delivery of] PRS development and office development in that locale,” says Cardwell.

Another project the council is making good progress on is the Wool Market – the town’s food market, which is housed in a listed building. As well as bringing in a new market operator, the council wants to regenerate the market hall itself and the surrounding area.

The council is building a modern new library and museum

"It’s a key retail anchor in the town, so we are enhancing and driving up the quality of that offer,” says Cardwell.

“We are seeing a lot of private sector companies coming in and investing in the bars and restaurants around that area, but as part of our proposal we own quite a large estate there and we have plots that are available for property developers and in