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Thoughtful renewal of a cherished community asset

GG 072 Corn Exchange Plan First Floor Square

Doncaster Corn Exchange

The proposals for the Corn Exchange seek to reactive this Doncaster landmark whilst remaining true to its historic use as a place to trade and gather. The next exciting chapter for the Corn Exchange will feature the introduction of ten sleek trading units on the ground floor, versatile gallery spaces for a variety of uses, and a spacious central area bathed in natural light, perfect for hosting pop-up events and entertainment.

Doncaster Market has existed in its current location since CE43, with King Richard I granting its first charter in 1193. The Grade II listed present-day building dates to 1873 and combines Victorian classical architecture with a dome reminiscent of that on the Crystal Palace, with an elaborate interior featuring sumptuous decoration. It has a rich history from Elgar conducting the London Symphony Orchestra and a young Winston Churchill speaking about his experiences during the Boer War.

In 1994, the Corn Exchange suffered a devastating fire, and the subsequent refurbishment added a central mezzanine to increase the number of fixed trading stalls. By the time Group Ginger came to the scheme in 2018 it was in a precarious position. Shoppers had been lured away to other city centre retail offerings and units had only 40% occupancy, making it difficult for the existing traders to create a lively shopping environment. Group Ginger’s designs for the refurbishment remove the non-original and unsympathetic central mezzanine to open up the space, revealing heritage features and providing a flexible, open space to host a diverse range of events including pop up markets that would attract new audiences.

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GG 072 Corn Exchange Existing photo 01
GG 072 Corn Exchange Sketch
Boxing Doncaster
Book Exchange Sketch

A book exchange on the first-floor balconies creates a casual, inviting and warm space for all ages, encouraging informal intergenerational interaction, and encouraging people to simply enjoy the space within the corn exchange without the need to buy anything.

A new timber feature staircase connects the ground floor to the International Food Market and first floor galleries, reinstating a sense of grandeur in the space. Lift access to the first floor balconies improves accessibility and inclusion, encouraging new users and uses. Tatty roller shutter shopfronts are replaced with a contemporary interpretation of a traditional Victorian bay shopfront, with an openable sliding sash frontage in keeping with traditional ‘trade-over’ market stalls.”

The plans in more detail include:

◦ Removal of central mezzanine to create open event / pop up trading space

◦ Creation of modern retail units in keeping with the heritage status of the building

◦ Accessibility to all levels within the Corn Exchange

◦ Connectivity with International Food Hall and Market Square

◦ New trader and event toilet facilities

◦ Sensitive refurbishment of the iconic Corn Exchange building – the oldest building within the Market Estate.


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Details

Clients

Market Asset Management Ltd.
Doncaster Council

Structural Engineers

CIVIC

Status

Ongoing

M&E Engineers

Silcock Leedham

Cost consultant

Michael Eyres & Partners

Group Ginger’s works to secure a thriving future for Corn Exchange are part of a Doncaster Council blueprint to transform the city centre and come after it was awarded £18.6m Levelling Up funding.

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