Doncaster is a large settlement and borough in South Yorkshire & Doncaster is about 20 miles from Sheffield. The borough expanded dramatically in population with the development of coal mining. The town forms part of the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster, which had a population of 302,400 at the 2011 census. The town itself has a population of 127,851.
Closure of coal mines in the 1970s and the early 1980s caused some economic difficulties; the town then developed its service industry; the already good communication links with the rest of the UK supported this development.
The Doncaster skyline is dominated by the minster in the middle of the town. The Frenchgate Shopping Centre holds an important position in the skyline, along with the Doncaster College Hub building and Cusworth Hall. Most of the old Doncaster College, the Council House and surrounding buildings have been demolished, and work has commenced to replace them with more modern facilities including a new theatre, council house and hotel which together will form the Doncaster Civic and Cultural Quarter. There are also plans for expansion onto land north of the new college (The Hub) if it gains university status.
Doncaster emerged as an industrial centre in the late 18th century to 20th century. Its communication links, particularly its waterways, meant that Doncaster became extremely busy and experienced vast migration to its centre. Underneath Doncaster lies a huge natural resource by way of deep seam coal. Recently there has been an expansion in commercial and residential developments along with good transportation links with the rest of the United Kingdom.
Due to its proximity to major urban centres and motorway/rail infrastructure, Doncaster has a number of major distribution centres, including the Doncaster International Railport, which dispatches goods to Europe by rail. Large warehousing and logistic capabilities for retailers such as Next, Tesco, Ikea, Amazon.com and Faberge are also sited there.
On 5 March 2004, Doncaster was granted Fairtrade Town status. In recent years, its centre has undergone redevelopment including the construction of an Education City campus, currently the largest education investment of its kind in the UK. Over the last few years the Doncaster Lakeside, which is home to the Doncaster Rovers ground, has undergone modernisation.
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