Cash boost for Mexborough is given approval

Doncaster  Mayor Peter Davies.
Doncaster Mayor Peter Davies.

A £50,000 Government cash boost for Mexborough town centre was approved this week and could be used to move the market onto the High Street.

Government officials have finally given the green light for Doncaster Council to put £100,000 into revamping Mexborough and Thorne town centres.

Doncaster Mayor Peter Davies says he wants to bring the towns - which will share the cash - onto a par with thriving areas like Bawtry and Tickhill.

Ministers have told Mr Davies he has a free hand to spend the cash, which is being given to the borough under the High Street Innovation Fund.

The fund is part of a £10million Government pot intended to be used for bringing empty shops back into use, inspired by a report commissioned from TV retail expert Mary Portas.

Mr Davies said: “The Government has now confirmed to me there are no strings attached to the money and I can look at using it to help regenerate Thorne and Mexborough.

“They will get £50,000 apiece and it will be spent on improving the shopping areas and the look of the places.

“I will be interested to hear what the residents, the ward councillors and Thorne Moorends Town Council see as the best way forward.

“It won’t solve all the problems but it will assist my determination to improve these local centres.

“Both have a lot going for them and I want to raise both to the quality of Bawtry and Tickhill. There are similarities, both are historic market towns, and I am optimistic both can be improved to the status of Tickhill and Bawtry.”

Mexborough Coun Sue Phillips told the Times she wanted the money added to cash expected to be put into the town by Kier Property as a condition attached to the planning permission they recently gained for a superstore next to the railway station.

She said: “It is £50,000 we did not have and I welcome any money coming into Mexborough. Although it will not go very far on its own, I hope we can use it in conjunction with the 106 money coming from the supermarket developers.

“This will be in the region of £100,000 to £120,000 and added to the High street Innovation Fund money would make a sizeable sum for us to do something with”.

Keir Property was recently granted planning permission for the controversial new supermarket on Station Road last month when council planning chiefs gave developers the go ahead to start building work, despite opposition from small traders and the Save the High Street Campaign.

Coun Phillips said she would like to see the money used to move the market from its existing site at York Square, onto the pedestrianised area along Main Street and High Street.

She would like York Square to then be converted into a town square.

She added: “It would be a case of creating something on the pedestrian High street. I think Rotherham is a good example of where this has been achieved.

“Originally when the outdoor market area was created it was meant to be a square and then they put the market stalls onto it. I think it should be made back into a square - it could have benches, flowerbeds and a fountain for instance.

“This is just my personal opinion - the future of the town centre will be decided after it has gone into consultation with members of the public and traders. What they want is what the money will be spent on.”