Cash agreed to pave way for £8.5m Doncaster Waterfront re-development

Plans to redevelop a section of Doncaster's waterfront look set to move forward after officials unlocked cash to help pay for the work.

Doncaster Council's cabinet has agreed to draw down £750,000 worth of Sheffield City Region Investment Fund cash which will be used towards a £1.5 million project to improve Friars Gate Bridge, which is designed to boost access to Marshgate.

Friars Gate Bridge is set for a 1.5m update to open up the development of Marshgate

Friars Gate Bridge is set for a 1.5m update to open up the development of Marshgate

It is linked to plans by Network Rail to build an £8.5 million state of the art base for 600 staff on the island in the Don.

It will secure the jobs, providing a depot and offices.

Network Rail is also putting cash into the bridge improvements.

Council major projects officer Simon Rhodes told cabinet in a report that the scheme would mean redeveloping the site and providing excellent pedestrian links to the town centre, which would be an indirect economic benefit to the immediate area. It is being called the Waterfront West Project.

Friars Gate Bridge is set for a 1.5m update to open up the development of Marshgate

Friars Gate Bridge is set for a 1.5m update to open up the development of Marshgate

The work on the bridge will mean it can be used by vehicles up to 40 tonnes across both lines, an increase from 7.5 tonnes.

Mr Rhodes added: "The strengthening and renewal of this important bridge structure will also help unlock wider commercial development in the surrounding markets area of Doncaster which will open up opportunities for further private sector investment and regeneration."

Work to build the Network Rail site is expected to start in May, with completion expected in December 2019.

Mayor Ros Jones said the scheme showed Network Rail working in partnership with the council to secure well paid jobs in the borough, and she wholeheartedly supported the scheme.

An artist's impression of Network Rail's planned new Doncaster building, near the Waterfront

An artist's impression of Network Rail's planned new Doncaster building, near the Waterfront

Cabinet member for business, skills and economic development, Coun Bill Mordue, said it was an important project in terms of regenerating the town centre and in terms of the borough's rail sector.

Cabinet member for communities, Coun Chris McGuinness, added: "We don't make the best use of our waterfront and it is a big asset."