Landmark city centre theatre to go up for auction

A landmark Victorian theatre in Doncaster city centre is set to go up for auction later this month with no minimum guide price.

The Grand Theatre in Doncaster will be included in the July online sale of Sheffield-based property auctioneer Mark Jenkinson, part of the Eddisons property group, and will be offered on a nil reserve basis.

The grade II-listed building, located on Trafford Way and next to the Frenchgate Centre, was built in 1898. It became a bingo hall in 1963, before shutting three decades later.

The Grand Theatre has fallen into disrepair since it closed in 1995 and earlier this year was added to the Theatres at Risk Register.

A long-running campaign to bring the property back into use as a performance venue commissioned a feasibility study in 2021. But this found that urgent repair works would be needed before it could be re-opened, even with a greatly reduced audience capacity.

Inside, the theatre building retains its original curved galleries, a stage with proscenium arch and decorative plaster ceiling.

Auctioneer James Vandenbrook, associate director at auctioneer Mark Jenkinson said: “"It has been unused for almost 30 years and putting the property up for sale at auction with nil reserve will no doubt be the catalyst for a positive new future for this much-loved Victorian icon, which definitely has the potential to become an asset to the city centre economy once again."

He added: "While it would be tremendous to see it return to use as an arts venue, in recent years other period properties within the city centre, such as the Wool Market, have undergone sympathetic redevelopment that has given them a new identity, attracting more people into the city centre and serving as prime examples of successful regeneration projects."

“Not surprisingly, we have been contacted by several potential buyers interested in acquiring the Grand Theatre.”