Doncaster markets are changing and the council are working hard to once again make them some of the best markets in the north of England.
To do this, the council has already rejuvenating two Grade II listed buildings in Doncaster Market, namely the Corn Exchange and the Wool Market with capital funding of more than £7.3 million.
They now need to secure the best market management and retail leadership which will place the retail quarter amongst the top attractions in the area.
To enable this change and to move forward, Cabinet have today agreed to run a procurement process to identify an operator to manage Doncaster and Mexborough Markets as well as its buildings. It is envisaged that this will be a 25 year contract and lease.
The procurement process will consider tenders from both national and international market providers to focus on the core business along with increasing the opportunity for raising further capital investment.
A number of different proposals were considered before the options of bringing in an operator on a 25 year lease was put before Cabinet. Some of these include:
- The grant of a long lease of market estate of up to 90 years
- Freehold disposal (sale of the estate)
- Retention of in-house operations
- Letting a concession contract
Cllr Joe Blackham, Cabinet Member for Highways, Street Scene and Traded Services, said: “Doncaster and Mexborough markets are important to us and we want to see them thrive and prosper now and in years to come. To ensure that this happens we need to make sure that both markets are highly competitive and fully embrace the changing customer shopping trends.
“We want these markets to be a place where entrepreneurs can innovate and experiment and get their ideas off the ground. To give traders the freedom to diversify their product ranges helping to attract new visitors to the market.
“We realise that some traders who are currently trading in both Doncaster and Mexborough market might feel a bit uneasy about the changes we are proposing. We would like to reassure them that we have considered all the options and this is the one that we feel would secure the future of both markets and improve business activity going forward.
“We will ensure that all traders are kept informed with the latest developments. We would also encourage the public to get behind the markets and come and visit to see some of the fantastic produce they have to offer.”
If agreed by cabinet, the next steps will be:
- June 2018 - Publication of the Prior Information Notice (PIN) to advise potential relevant organisations that the service will be tendered out.
- August 2018 - OJEU contract notice issued
- August – December 2018 – Responses and negotiation period with prospective bidders
- December 2018 – Cabinet approval and Contract award
- January 2019 – Mobilisation of successful bidder
- March 2019 – Implementation of new arrangements
A final decision about the proposed delivery model will be taken back to Cabinet again for approval following the completion of the procurement process.
- Category: Business & investment