Doncaster Wool Market: Traders to be moved from historic market to make way for bowling alley and arcade

Doncaster market traders are set to be moved to another venue as council bosses plan to open a bowling alley and interactive darts games in their place.

The plans will convert the right-hand side of the Wool Market into a new ‘zone’ which will include: Duckpin Bowling; Dart Lanes; Shuffleboard; a reception/ticket zone for an entertainment area; and traditional arcade games.

Council bosses said retail traders in the Wool Market were consulted on the plans and agreed to move into the Corn Exchange which is soon to see regeneration as part of the Levelling Up bid the council recently were awarded.

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Essex-based firm Markets Asset Management (MAM) who now runs Doncaster's markets across the borough, have said to have been working with the council to ‘solidify a number of development plans’ across the estate in order to try and boost footfall.

Doncaster's Wool Market

Councillor Phil Cole, cabinet member for finance and trading services, said: “The Wool Market is a venue that has changed with the times and is a popular location for people to meet, socialise and enjoy its vibrant atmosphere.

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“We are creating a modern destination for families to eat, relax and enjoy alongside shopping in the wider market and town centre. Doncaster Market is special, with the original market charter being granted in 1193 by King Richard I, but the world of retail has been changing over the last few years.

“With the rise of supermarkets and online retail which has only increased with the pandemic, that is why we must adapt our markets to ensure they survive and provide a mixed and diverse offering across the markets. We are committed to keep improving its offer for residents and visitors.

“We have brilliant market traders, selling top class produce. We are incredibly proud of our markets and committed to supporting them as we bounce back from the pandemic.”

Hayden Ferriby, commercial director at MAM, said: “We’re really excited about bringing a new entertainment venue to Doncaster, the Duckpin Bowling being only the second in the country.

“Visitors nowadays want and expect much more than just retail, or food, or leisure activities on their own. They want to visit unique destinations that give them an experience to remember and somewhere they want to visit again.”

MAM took over the running of the market estate in 2019 as council bosses said they were losing nearly £600,000 a year.

But a decision to hand nearly £1 million of council money to MAM just a year after taking over the operations from DMBC, sparked anger from opposition councillors.

MAM cited pandemic pressures in their request for the bailout.