New AI-focused Doncaster tech hub gets go-ahead

UK map concept art showing digitized UK landmass outline in blue.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Plans have been unveiled to launch a new Doncaster tech hub that will focus on driving AI innovation in the region. 

The site, located in Doncaster’s City Gateway area next to Doncaster railway station, is aiming to attract digital and tech companies. 

Businesses and entrepreneurs can co-locate with other businesses and industry leaders to collaborate, develop local supply chain opportunities, access local, regional, and national business support, and strengthen industry links with academic institutions.

"This is a new era for the city of Doncaster. With the city beginning to be at the forefront of the digital and technology sector, more businesses across the region are beginning to see the benefits of basing themselves in the city," said Tariq Shah, Chair of the new City Centre Board for Doncaster.

"With the announcement of a new digital technology hub for Doncaster, we will have the capabilities to do just that, hosting industry leading businesses who will bring expert knowledge, innovation and enhance the city’s reputation further."

Work should start on the site in early 2025, and is expected to be finished by summer the following year. Trafford Court Offices, Wolseley Plumb Center, and a vacant retail unit will be demolished to make way for the new site.

The plans show five floors of office space, with two commercial units on the ground floor. There's also an area of public open space, and the building's been designed to reach net zero emissions.

The £24 million project will be funded through the Doncaster Town Deal fund and overseen by the Town Deal Board, a subgroup of the new City Centre board.

"Our city is rapidly becoming recognized for its industry expertise around artificial intelligence, and I am keen to build this momentum and drive forward our ambition to regenerate our city centre and develop our economy for the 21st century," said mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones.

"This is an exciting time for Doncaster city centre, with work taking place across several key areas and I look forward to seeing businesses across the city and region take advantage of this state-of-the-art facility."

The council has already signed up local AI firm Automated Analytics as a founder member.

"Doncaster is a city on the cusp of becoming the UK’s leading destination for innovative digital and technology businesses to locate and grow," said CEO Mark Taylor.

"The new digital tech hub will enable businesses to bring their trailblazing work in the development and adoption of artificial intelligence to a global customer base and put Doncaster firmly on the map."

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance journalist writing for publications including the BBC, Private Eye, Forbes, Raconteur and specialist technology titles.