Traders reject latest Doncaster market redevelopment proposal

An artists' impression of the new Mexborough market.
An artists' impression of the new Mexborough market.

A project to regenerate a Doncaster market town has stalled yet again - after traders rejected blueprints put forward by council chiefs.

Talks have been ongoing for several months between stallholders and Doncaster Council’s markets bosses about how to best spent a £400,000 government cash windfall to improve Mexborough’s outdoor market.

The authority put forward artists’ impressions of a revamped York Square, which proposed to remove all of the rigid stalls and replace them with eight permanent ones and a selection of gazebo style pop-ups.

The pop-ups can be put up and taken down on market days to free up the square so it can be used for events such as music and drama performances.

But Wendy Bailey, chair of the town’s market traders’ federation, said stallholders rejected the plans by a vote of 42 against with just 11 in favour.

Disgruntled traders instead want to see more than 20 rigid stalls and have asked for new plans to be drawn up.

Wendy said: “A number of traders believe these pop-ups are too flimsy and will not stand up to bad weather conditions and strong winds.

“The rigid stalls already in place have been here for up to 40 years, they were built to last, and they have.

“The consensus is we want something similar which will last year after year without needing to be replaced.”

A working group comprising council markets’ bosses, traders and Mexborough councillors has been formed to work through the plans.

Mexborough councillors have expressed their desire for construction work to start on site this month so the new market will be completed by October, ready for the Christmas shopping season.

A spokesman for Doncaster Council said the authority is formulating new plans and a working group meeting is due to take place in the coming weeks.

Peter Dale, director of regeneration and environment for Doncaster Council, said: “Doncaster Council has made £400,000 available to regenerate Mexborough town centre through improvements to York Square and the High Street.

“Local people have told us that we need to improve the appearance of the town centre in order to give the local economy a boost and we are ready to make a substantial investment.

“Our aim is to come up with a scheme that meets the needs of all concerned including shoppers, market traders and other local businesses.”

He added: “This will necessitate some element of compromise from all parties.

“It is right that we take the time needed to deliver a successful regeneration scheme bringing jobs and investment to Mexborough.”