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Work begins to transform weekly's former home

Builders have begun work to convert the former offices of a Yorkshire weekly into flats, shops and a gym.

As reported on HoldtheFrontPage last month, Doncaster Council has given the green light to the plans for the previous headquarters of the Doncaster Free Press.

Now the red-brick Sunny Bar building, the base of the Free Press for 89 years, is being transformed with work expected to be complete by June.

The basement, which was formerly used as storage cellars, will be converted into lounges, cinema room and a gym for residents.


The ground floor will be home to five retail units while the first and second floors will each contain seven flats and communal kitchen areas.

The accommodation will be made available to those on lower incomes.

Dan Pattrick, operations manager for developers Belgray, said: “We are passionate and have plenty of ideas of what we want to achieve here.

“This is a beautiful old building and we are retaining as many of the old features as possible but also giving the building a modern feel.”

He added: “This is the jewel in our crown.

“There will be work done to tidy up the front of the building but it will look and remain as it always has done.

“It is a well known Doncaster building in a great position overlooking the market.

“We are very excited about this project.”

Staff moved to a new home on the corner of Printing Office Street and Cleveland Street in the town last January along with workers from its sister titles the South Yorkshire Times and the Epworth Bells.