January is traditionally the time when we reflect on the achievements, investments, events, successes and challenges over the past year whilst also looking to what is in store for the year ahead.
Reflecting on the past year it has been a year of consolidation and transition for many. The country is going through difficult times with the continuing cost of living crisis and sluggish economic growth. There is no doubt that our city has suffered a few setbacks, however we truly believe Doncaster still has a bright future and we will continue to work with investors and developers to attract inward investment, deliver better quality jobs, develop our key business sectors and create new opportunities necessary for a growing city.
Let’s take a look at just a few of the Business Doncaster highlights from 2023:
- The 2023 events calendar kicked off with the Doncaster Business Showcase 2023 which was our biggest to date. 2024 is already looking to be bigger and better than ever before with 300+ stand holders.
- We attended and exhibited at the UKREIFF Real Estate and Infrastructure Forum in Leeds in May highlighting the best that Doncaster has to offer to a national audience
- Our Advance team organised and delivered two exceptional and well received Recruitment Showcase events and continue to deliver exceptional quality work in helping residents into employment and training
- Our regionally recognised property forum goes from strength to strength and our new manufacturing and construction forums are starting to have the same impact
- We have had huge involvement with the formation and design of the new South Yorkshire Local Visitor Economy Partnership
- The Doncaster Visitor Economy Group continues to expand and grow
- We have continued to deliver exceptional levels of business support working with colleagues and partners to help make a difference. We have successfully delivered a number of business grants including a high-profile shopfront scheme in the City Centre.
- The number of businesses engaging with our Launchpad start up programme continues to grow, and our advisors deliver an excellent level of support to new would-be entrepreneurs wanting to start a new business
- Our Youth Hub advisors continue to work across Doncaster with DWP to address Youth Unemployment and we will expand to Mexborough in 2024
- Doncaster was awarded fifth place in fDi Intelligence’s the Small European Cities of the Future 2022/23 – FDI Strategy category. The hard work and efforts of Business Doncaster and Doncaster Council to attract new investment, being recognised in this way shows that Doncaster is a fantastic place for businesses to invest and grow
- Reopening our airport remains the Mayor’s number one priority and we are hopeful to be able to share good news in 2024. Work is progressing positively, but we are not over the line yet. I believe it can and will be a successful airport and a key economic driver for Doncaster, South Yorkshire and the North for the long term.
- Work is progressing at pace on our five key development sites, and we continue to promote these in order to attract inward investment. These are: Unity Yorkshire, Doncaster iPort, GatewayEast, Doncaster North and the City Centre.
- The City Centre remains our priority and footfall remains above target with a significant increase over the Christmas period compared to previous figures
- Promotion and marketing of the city centre along with significant high-quality investment in public realm along with the redevelopment of a number of buildings for commercial and residential use is starting to make a visible positive difference.
For those that love statistics, here’s a few to shout about:
- We contributed to almost £200 million of new investment coming into Doncaster
- Been involved in the creation and safeguarding of 800 new jobs
- Provided business support to 230 businesses
- Created over £4 million in new supply chain opportunities for local businesses
- Handled over 400 new property related enquiries
- City Centre footfall is 7.5% above target with 14.5 million recorded visitors
- Provided support to more than 350 individuals looking for employment and training opportunities
And finally, if you are receiving or have received business support from Business Doncaster, thank you for working with us and for allowing us to be part of your business success. If you are not yet receiving any support and feel that you might require some assistance, then the Business Doncaster team would be delighted to hear from you and discuss how we can help you deliver your goals in 2024.