The Civic and Cultural Quarter

The Civic and Cultural Quarter is re-vitalising the Waterdale area of the town centre into a place of real interest. 

The Civic and Cultural Quarter covers about 25 per cent of the town centre in the Waterdale area. Although the current Waterdale shopping centre is not part of the scheme, as the project develops and the high quality facilities attract people and business into the area, there should be a positive impact on this shopping precinct and neighbouring parts of town.

Why redevelop the Waterdale area?

Waterdale is a well-known part of Doncaster's town centre. During its heyday it was a bustling area with people flocking to shops and the like – it was a place you had to visit while you were in town. However, it had suffered a steady decline which continued when the southern bus station closed (Frenchgate Interchange opening) and Doncaster College moved to the Hub at the Waterfront. With limited public transport entering the area and no student population on its doorstep, less people had reason to pass through.

The Civic and Cultural Quarter is transforming Waterdale reconnecting it to the town centre. The quality and content of the plans is raising the profile of this part of town to new levels. The carefully thought out layout and consistent building design is giving the area a clear identity. It is already becoming a big attraction that draws people in and encourages redevelopment in the neighbouring areas (i.e. in and around the Waterdale Shopping Centre).

What are the benefits?

The Civic and Cultural Quarter is one of a series of regeneration programmes across the town centre and our borough which are helping to transform Doncaster into a popular and exciting place to invest, live, work and visit. The scheme is an important part of the overarching Doncaster Urban Masterplan

Already delivered

A number of developments have already been delivered as part of the ambitious plans. As well as transforming the road layouts to make the area more pedestrian friendly the following schemes have been completed.

Sir Nigel Gresley Square

Sir Nigel Gresley Square honours the legendary locomotive engineer Sir Nigel Gresley who designed and oversaw the creation of world famous locomotives like the Mallard and the Flying Scotsman in the town.

The square forms the centrepiece of the Civic and Cultural Quarter and helps shape a new identity for the Waterdale area and the whole borough. The square is often used for big events and festivals.

The square was officially opened on Sunday 3 June 2012 during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Civic Offices

The new five-storey office complex was built on the site of the old Doncaster College. The modern civic offices, which have a new council chamber as the signature element of the build, overlook Sir Nigel Gresley Square.

The building houses most of the council’s services on one central site and includes a purpose built customer service centre.

The striking design uses regal colours and quality materials, some of which have an added dimension of changing colour or reflecting light. This ensures the building is instantly recognisable as the new home for council services in the town centre.

The new civic office was officially opened on Wednesday 16 January 2013.


Cast was a long held ambition of the borough and is the cultural anchor. It was developed in partnership with Doncaster College, the Doncaster voluntary arts sector and Arts Council England. It opened its doors in May 2013.

For all the latest news and performances at Cast go to:

Car parking

Civic Quarter Car Park - An extensive range of improvements were made to the southern multi-storey car park (the former Southern Bus Station) to provide car users with a safe and secure parking experience. The works also improved its appearance ensuring it fits neatly into its new environment. The 850 space car park is now called the Civic Quarter Car Park.

Chamber Road Car Park - A new surface car park is available at the junction of College Road and Chequer Road. This council car park offers short and all day parking for people visiting the area.


A key objective is to reintroduce city centre living into the heart of Doncaster. New housing will fit perfectly with the mix of uses in the area, adding significantly to the image of the town and playing its part in creating a vibrant and thriving location.

The Gables development was the first housing scheme to be completed.

Doncaster University Technical College

On part of the site of the old Council House (sometimes remember as the old Coal House) is the new Doncaster University Technical College (UTC).

Find out more about this new educational facility at

Danum Gallery, Library and Museum

A new central library, art gallery and museum opened its doors on Saturday 29 May 2021. The iconic design incorporates the central frontage of the former Doncaster High School for Girls in Waterdale and is becoming another major draw for the area. More information is available at: Danum Gallery, Library and Museum

New cinema complex - Savoy Doncaster

A new six screen Savoy cinema opened its doors on Monday 17th May 2021 next door to Cast. It frames Sir Nigel Gresley Square and is a further attraction for the area and the town centre. 

More information is available at: new cinema or visit the Savoy website


Last updated: 21 October 2021 17:17:35