Business Doncaster's Town Centre Development Officer, Andrew McMahon, discusses how he is aiming to improve its experience, vibrancy and animation.
How nice it has been to see Doncaster town centre’s shops, bars and restaurants busier this week following the easing of restrictions.
As Town Centre Development Officer, my role is to improve experience, increase vibrancy and animation.
Despite the easing of restrictions, we of course need to remember that Coronavirus hasn’t gone away, and most recently I have been working on how we can reopen our high streets safely.
You may have seen floor splats, sanitiser units and digital messages on screens across Doncaster. This is just some of the work we have done to help customers return to the town centre and stay safe.
We have also produced a handy ‘Back to Business’ guide for hospitality businesses to support them with understanding the restrictions and ensuring that they open safely and successfully.
You can download the free guide here: https://www.businessdoncaster.co.uk/business-support/covid-19-support/
It is also highly likely that your hospitality business has paid to improve your outdoor areas during the previous step in the Government's roadmap. Today sees the launch of our one-off grant to support you with these costs.
The grant acknowledges the additional expenditure that hospitality businesses and venues have had to incur to prepare to re-open and serve people entirely outdoors and will be linked to specific items of expenditure either planned or already paid for.
There is a maximum payment of £3,000 and applications will be open for a period of two weeks.
You can find out more about eligibility and how to apply here: https://www.doncaster.gov.uk/doitonline/outdoor-hospitality-grant
I work closely with Adrian Banks whose blog you may have read earlier this week.
We want to help businesses to build relationships with others around them and you may have seen us out surveying and gathering intelligence to feed back into our economic recovery plan.
I grew up in Doncaster and love how diverse it is. You can have a full day out in the town centre and find yourself visiting so many different attractions.
You can go to Flip Out or the new Savoy Cinema, do some shopping in the Frenchgate Centre or at our independent stores on the high street and then eat out at one of the amazing restaurants or bars. It has everything in one place!
We hope to have many projects and events coming up but these do depend on Government guidelines. We will of course keep you updated in due course.
In the meantime, we have been working on a half a million-pound wayfinding scheme to help residents and visitors find their way around the town centre and learn a little about Doncaster as they do.
You will have likely seen the attractive new signs dotted about the town.
It is such an exciting time for our town centre with new developments such as the cinema complex and the stunning Danum Gallery, Library and Museum.
We of course want to attract even more retailers to the town but we also cannot forget the importance of culture.
Recently, a new statue dedicated to the miners was placed on Printing Office Street and the historic frieze that used to adorn the front of the Gaumont Cinema has been placed in Sir Nigel Gresley Square.
We are also working with the XP School on a Suffragette memorial which will be located there too.
We are here to help businesses with any ideas or projects you may have or any support you may need.
The future is up to you and I’m excited to help build a vibrant town centre in Doncaster.
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