Cabinet asked to formally approve £25m town centre funding

Cabinet members at Doncaster Council have today received a report asking for the approval of a financial package, which could see nearly £25m invested in the city of Doncaster.

As part of the Doncaster Town Deal, in partnership with the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, nearly £25m is being prepared to invest in an extension to the recently upgraded Railway Square (£4.149m) and the delivery of a new office/mixed-use building (£20.09m). Both projects will offer significant enterprise and growth opportunities for the city.

Both projects will also have a “green” focus, including the promotion of green urban space, active travel and connectivity and follow the confirmation from Central Government that a £24.8m Towns Deal fund had been approved for Doncaster in November 2021.

The projects will see the new square outside the railway station extended to allow for additional public space and for a better first impression of Doncaster for visitors, while the proposed office space will also be based close to Doncaster Rail Station.

A further project will allow for the commission of feasibility studies of identified heritage sites to potentially find a new future for these sites in the city.

Portfolio holder at Doncaster Council for Housing and Business, Cllr Glyn Jones, said: “The overarching aim of the Doncaster Towns Deal is to help increase economic growth, with a clear focus on regeneration, improved transport, better broadband connectivity, skills and culture.

“The projects outlined will allow our newly-named city to deliver a new urban greenspace in the town centre which will improve current opportunities related to wellbeing and leisure for residents, as well as offering space for further potential employment opportunities, strengthening our mission to represent people, place and planet as a council.

“The mentioned projects have been subject to intense dialogue with businesses and stakeholders over the past months, who have all helped us identify the needs of the town and I want to thank everyone for their contributions so far.”

Chair of the Doncaster Town Deal Board, Tariq Shah said: “This is a significant boost to the City Centre and is designed to catalyse further public and private sector investment. Doncaster has fantastic connections and this will help us to utilise them even better.”

The Doncaster Town Deal Board initially submitted the bid for funding in January 2021, following the Government announcement that up-to £25m in funding was available to 100 places invited to apply. Doncaster was identified as an area where this opportunity would become available.

As a consequence of the funding, the Towns Deal Board have identified major areas which will see improvements and benefits as a result of the funding, including in crime reduction, improved health and well-being, the value of land, and in employment opportunities.

It is anticipated that, if approved by cabinet, the construction for these projects will begin in April 2024, with completion due by September 2025, with the timeline also including the agreement of the acquiring of certain assets and land.

Cabinet members will meet on 8 June to discuss the proposals.

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