Show your support for the Doncaster City Bid

We’re going for it and Doncaster, we need your support!

Message from Team Doncaster Partnership

We are going for Doncaster City status, and would be great to have your support.

From Bentley to Bessacarr, Mexborough to Moorends, Stainforth to Sprotbrough and Tickhill to Thorne we know that Doncaster would be a unique city, made up of proud communities and made special by the people who live and work here.

We know that for many of you, pride in your local area and your community is very strong. We also know that our residents want the best for the area, and their families, too.

That’s why we’re going for it. We believe we are special in wanting to be a city of places – our villages and town have their strong identities and perspectives, history and landmarks – and to unite this with city status for the whole borough would, we believe, add another benefit to this great borough.

Achieving City Status would help attract more investment for Doncaster and improve opportunities and life chances for our residents and communities, whilst celebrating our diversity and everything that makes Doncaster so special. This is what we were told during our Doncaster Talks conversations over the last two years by local people who want to see real opportunities and ambition for future generations.

We have until the 8th December to make our case loud and clear. 

Read more below:

So how do we get there?

The City Status Civic Honours competition is being held to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. It provides an opportunity for towns across the UK to attain City Status, and several other towns have already confirmed that they will be competing, including Middlesbrough, Warrington, Boston, Milton Keynes, Reading, and Crawley.

As an ambitious and aspirational borough, the question is as much why Doncaster wouldn’t want to be part of a competition such as this, as much as why would we!

We believe that Doncaster is a city - in all but name. So many times, when we are speaking to people from towns and cities across the UK they refer to Doncaster as a city, and they are genuinely shocked when we point out that we are not there yet.

But, in order to get there, we need your support and it is vitally important to have the voice of the people of Doncaster supporting this bid.

We know that, like every other area, Doncaster has its problems that need to be addressed and we are not in any way ignoring that. What we are asking is for you to recognise the positive impact that becoming a city would have on our market town and the rest of the borough, our potential to thrive and the real difference it City Status can and will make to future generations.

But is Doncaster ready for change?

Our young people are, and they have thrown their support behind the bid because they can see how becoming a city will improve our community’s life chances, attract investment to the area and provide future generations with better opportunities, encouraging them to stay in the area and continue to shape Doncaster for many years to come.

And our business community is ready, too. Through Doncaster Chamber and Business Doncaster many organisations have already pledged their support to the bid, giving their time freely to help to get Doncaster’s ‘Going for it’ campaign launched and working together on the bid to showcase why we deserve to be one of the UK’s next cities.

Here are some of the comments we’ve received from a range of residents and businesses including young people:

“Doncaster becoming a city would provide us with so many opportunities to learn, develop and grow. We want to welcome people to a vibrant city with better jobs, better education and a true feeling of pride around where we come from” – Jessica, a young advisor

“It would be absolutely incredible. Not only would it help local people and businesses that already reside in Doncaster, it will attract even more… it’s going to be great for future generations. Doncaster being a city just makes sense” – David, local entrepreneur

“It’s time we got the recognition that we deserve. Becoming a city will attract inward investment and create more jobs and opportunities for our future workforce, for our young people. We need to inspire our next generation, our children, our grandchildren and becoming a city will do that.” – Andy Hibbitt, educator

“Think about it – how fantastic would it be to have a new hospital in a new city. We already employ 6,500 members of staff and a new hospital here in Doncaster would enable us to attract even more of the best talent to deliver the best possible healthcare. It is what the people of Doncaster deserve.” - Suzy Brain England, Board Chair, Doncaster Royal Infirmary

“I’ve only been living in Doncaster for a short period of time and I can honestly say I feel truly welcomed here. It will give the people of Doncaster a city that wants to strive for goals and ambitions to make Doncaster even greater and a place where they want to be part of even more.” – Courtney, a young advisor

The question is - are you ready?

The city bid for Doncaster is being developed by Team Doncaster (Doncaster Council, Chamber of Commerce, NHS and partners from across businesses and communities) this is an aspirational bid and, while we know not everyone will support our efforts, we have already seen a tremendous amount of positivity around our ambition to become a city.

Recognising this ambition and winning City Status will only have a positive impact on securing investment for key projects in Doncaster such as the new hospital, changing the lives of so many members of our community by having the best possible facilities on our doorstep, with the best possible doctors and nurses who want to live and work in a city. In turn, improving healthcare for our residents.

It would also benefit our future bid for the Great British Rail HQ. Doncaster is, after all, birthplace of the Mallard and Flying Scotsman locomotives and we believe Doncaster is the ideal location for the headquarters (HQ) of Great British Rail.

And, it would enable us to build even further on the work that’s underway to develop the Doncaster borough.

Already we are focusing on creating a safer, stronger, greener and cleaner borough, developing skills to thrive in life and work, making Doncaster the best place to do business and create good jobs – just some of the Great 8 priorities set out in our borough strategy. Being a city would help us to achieve these priorities and create brighter futures for generations to come.

Please do speak up and share your support. With your backing we hope that we can finally get Doncaster the city status we feel it ought to have.

Thank you
Team Doncaster Partnership

Your views

We are keen to hear your views about Doncaster borough potentially becoming a city and the benefits that you think should come with this. Let us know here:

City Status - Your Views

Your Questions

What is the City Status Civic Honours competition?

The City Status Civic Honours competition is being held to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. It provides an opportunity for towns across the UK to bid for city status. Several other towns have already confirmed that they will be competing, including Middlesbrough, Warrington, Boston, Milton Keynes, Reading, and Crawley.

As an ambitious and aspirational borough, the question is as much why Doncaster wouldn’t want to be part of a competition such as this, as much as why would we!

Who decided that Doncaster should bid, and were the public asked? 

The decision to bid was taken by Team Doncaster, and backed by partners from across Doncaster, including Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, the NHS, Voluntary Action Doncaster, and the Doncaster Youth Council. This is a real Team Doncaster approach to the bid.

Given the backing by leaders in the borough, a local referendum or similar was not  essential. This would have cost far more than the bid campaign itself. However that does not mean that Team Doncaster is not listening to what people are saying in a range of feedback and forums. Becoming a city could help deliver some of the priorities that people have told us they want.

We recognise not everyone will support the campaign and others will. There has been a tremendous amount of positivity so far. This has been particularly strong amongst young people, who recognise the benefits of City Status not just for them, but also for future generations.

Does Doncaster meet the criteria to become a city?

We do need to show that we can meet some points ranging from having a distinct identity, civic pride, culture, heritage and history to royal associations and a record of innovation.

Contrary to traditional perceptions, a city does not need a cathedral or a specific minimum scale of population. For example, St. Asaph in Wales, with a population of just 3,400, achieved City Status in 2012.

Doncaster is clearly characteristically different from some of our established and well-known neighbouring cities such as Sheffield and Leeds. That said, we have a more than comparable economic and demographic scale and profile to several other northern cities, such as Wakefield and Preston. 

What are the benefits to Doncaster of becoming a city? 

There would be many tangible benefits to Doncaster if granted city status: 

  • Doncaster is more likely to attract more visitors, which in turn, will improve the tourism offer for local people generating more choice of things to do, where to eat and shop and support local businesses.
  • Doncaster is more likely to attract greater levels of economic investment, creating new jobs, and further redeveloping and regenerating the borough.
  • Doncaster is more likely to gather stronger momentum and wider backing for key projects, such as a new hospital proposal, a University and airport station rail link. 
  • Doncaster is more likely to attract key conferences, festivals, and concerts, with nationally recognised artists and a richer program of cultural events. 
  • Doncaster is more likely to create more skilled jobs, allowing more young people to stay, live and work in the area, rather than them moving away to other localities. 
  • Doncaster would gain a stronger voice in shaping both the local, regional, and national agenda to get more of what the borough deserves and to support the delivery of residents’ priorities.

Can Doncaster win the competition? 

Yes but it is a competition and Doncaster does face strong competition. We’re not taking anything for granted. 

The bid requires us to demonstrate our distinct identity, civic pride, our associations with Royalty, our record of innovation, our heritage and culture, and the vibrance of our welcoming community. Doncaster has a strong story to tell in all these areas. 

Doncaster’s bid will present an honest, evidence rich proposal. It will tell Doncaster’s story from its Roman origins to the present day, and showcase our many assets, from Conisbrough’s medieval castle to our new state-of-the-art Danum Gallery, Library and Museum. It will provide details of our strong transport connectivity, public green spaces, shopping and market destinations, and sporting venues. 

Will the character of Doncaster change if it becomes a city?

Doncaster’s character is ultimately shaped by the people and communities of Doncaster. The borough is a place of places with their own characteristics and that diversity is something to be proud of. Getting city status will not change that. Many are rightly proud of our tradition as a market town, and our market identity will feature strongly in our bid. We hope that city status will deepen the sense of public pride in what it means to come from the borough. We believe we are special in being a city of places if we are successful.

Will council tax and business rates go up if we become a city? 

Winning city status does not lead to increases in council tax or tax or business rates.

Will city status mean that local prices go up (shopping, rent, eating out, etc.)?

Winning city status does not lead to increases in local prices, inflationary price increases are down to the local and national economic climate.

At the same time, city status could lead to increased wage potential, better amenities, and other cost of living benefits.

Will city status mean we get more money to fix potholes, improve services etc?

The City Status Civic Honours competition does not provide a financial investment in itself but it could open the door to more funding opportunities.

How much will it cost to bid for city status, where will the money come from, and would the money be better spent elsewhere?

The project will cost less than £50,000 in total equating to roughly 16p per resident in the borough. The total budget is a very small cost compared the budgets of partners and the council and if successful could lead to significant sums of potential inward investment.

The benefit of this financial outlay is that if successful, gaining City Status may lead to further inward investment, for example, attracting the Great British Rail Headquarters to Doncaster.

It would also add gravitas to bid for City of Culture, promoting the growth of creative businesses and arts-based organisations.

And, whilst the positive impact City Status would have on factors such as income levels, educational opportunities, employment status and levels of equality are difficult to predict, we know that by attracting more investment in Doncaster, we can create more opportunities that would support the improvement of resident’s health, wellbeing and aspirations.

Isn’t it all a waste of time and effort if Doncaster’s bid is not successful?

Winning the competition isn’t guaranteed, but this is not the only objective of the campaign. The campaign aims to raise awareness of Doncaster’s story, helping people learn new things about the borough, inspiring young people, attracting visitors, and building a deeper sense of civic pride.

Will there be further costs if Doncaster wins?

A level of rebranding will inevitably follow if Doncaster becomes a city, most visibly in areas such as public signage. This will not happen immediately, and will be planned to ensure value for money.

How can I get involved and support the bid?

You can show your support for the bid on social media by sharing, liking and posting positive comments on the various council and partner channels who are promoting the bid. Share on social media #GoingForItDN. You can also take the time to talk to others in the town, friends, family and colleagues about the bid and the many reasons that Doncaster should get city status.

Here are just a few of those reasons:

  • History and Heritage
    • Doncaster was founded by the Romans in 71AD, when it was known as ‘Danum’
    • It was then listed as one of Britain’s 28 cities (known as ‘Caer-Daun’) in the 9th century by Nennius – author of the Historia Brittonum
    • In 1194 Richard the Lionheart granted Doncaster its first charter, followed by a royal markets charter in 1248
    • Back in the 18th century, Doncaster Town Centre was a significant stop over point between London and Edinburgh, which created an industry in coach building and horse breeding. It is fitting that the oldest horse racing classic in the world is hosted in Doncaster, the St Leger Stakes that was first held in 1776, with Doncaster Racecourse holding the first aviation meeting in the UK in 1909
    • Doncaster is home to the St Leger Stakes – the oldest of Britain’s five horse racing Classics, running since 1776
    • The 12th century medieval Conisbrough Castle in Doncaster inspired Sir Walter Scott’s novel, ‘Ivanhoe – the first citation of Robin Hood, meaning Robin Hood came from Doncaster, rather than Nottingham
    • Towards the end of the 19th century ‘the Plant’ railway works were established in Hexthorpe where the Stirling Single, Flying Scotsman and Mallard were designed and built.
    • Doncaster is a military town, home to a large proportion of Gurkha families and veterans who served in Her Majesty's armed forces.  
  • Size
    • Doncaster already has a population of more than 312,000 and so is operating as a city in terms of both population and services that can be accessed here already
    • New developments are planned, with a growth target over 18,400 new homes to be built by 2035
    • A vibrant local economy worth around £6 billion with over 9,000 businesses
  • A Connected Place
    • Doncaster is home to an international airport, providing connections worldwide
    • One of the busiest rail stations on the East Coast Main line is situated in Doncaster, sitting at the confluence of several others and providing fast rail links across the UK. Trains from Doncaster to London are fast and frequent. The journey takes around 88 minutes, with an average of 60 trains a day.
    • Doncaster is also located at the centre of the country’s motorway network, making it a Connected City at the heart of the UK, with easy access to and from the M18, M1, A1(M), M62 and the M180
    • Eighty-seven percent of the UK population is reachable in four hour’s drive time from Doncaster
    • Today, Doncaster is an important town for connectivity with the second largest representation of transport and storage jobs in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Back our bid!

Doncaster landmarks and its people

Team Doncaster logo and text Just a few of the reasons to back the bid! #GoingForItDN




Last updated: 17 November 2021 12:18:39