An important link road between Doncaster Robin Hood Airport and the M18 motorway could enter the construction phase in summer 2012, according to local newspaper, the Star. The road, better known as the Finningley and Rossington Regeneration Route Scheme, or FARRRS, is part of a larger campaign called the Gateway to Sheffield City Region (GSCR), which was recently awarded £18m from the government’s Regional Growth Fund.
“This is tremendous news for Doncaster”, explained Peter Dale, director of regeneration in Doncaster. “(The cash boost) demonstrates the confidence the government has in Doncaster to deliver such an important scheme." However, the evidence suggests otherwise: last April, Doncaster Council was described as “failing, dysfunctional, and paralysed” by the Audit Commission, and was eventually commandeered by government ministers. The £18m sum, which is double the grant traditionally awarded to successful candidates, is likely an attempt to bring Doncaster Council, and consequently, the town, back up to par with other settlements in Yorkshire.
Financial support for the FARRRS route way is, nevertheless, a huge boon for Doncaster, and for Robin Hood Airport. Proponents say that the road could create 14,000 jobs, more than half of the total expected to be created by the GSCR scheme, and inject £1bn into the local economy. FARRRS will also make the airport more accessible to travellers arriving from Sheffield and the port town of Goole.
Nigel Brewster, President of Doncaster’s Chambers of Commerce, has urged local businesses to “capitalise” on the construction of the FARRRS road, by trading with companies overseas. Mr. Brewster has implied that the arrival of new investors and – presumably – airlines would be crucial to the success of Robin Hood Airport.
The region around the airport will not be the only area in Yorkshire to benefit from the GSCR. The £18m grant will allow councillors to reclaim the land around Rossington Colliery, which closed in 2007, and construct a ‘Strategic Rail Freight Interchange’ near the airport.
Keepmoat Homes, namesake of Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium, has also been given £8m from the Regional Growth Fund to build, or refurbish, 1,500 homes in Hull.