The Lagoons is a reliable income producer for City of Doncaster Council. Credit: CDC

Doncaster’s Dome primed for £14m revamp

Approved at cabinet level. full council is expected to sign off the improvement of the flagship leisure asset, listed at grade two level in 2023.

The improvement programme will focus on the Lagoons along with the facility’s entrance area, with other features added.

This is the first part of what is expected to be a phased programme of works at the Dome: studies by Faithful & Gould in 2021 said that a spend of at least £23m is required across the wider facility, a figure that may raise as high as £40m according to updated studies.

Doncaster is working with leisure and hospitality sector specialist Alliance Leisure on the project.

City of Doncaster Council said that Doncaster Dome has been well visited by families from across the region since opening in 1989 and although investment has been made since, a full-scale modernisation programme is now required.

Cllr Nigel Ball, cabinet member for public health, said: “Our culture and leisure centres are key to supporting the health and wellbeing of residents in Doncaster.

“I am delighted with the refurbishment plans and our dedication as a council to continue to champion tourist attractions, and community hubs like the Dome. This investment in leisure is vital and is a testament to our dedication to health and leisure at a time where other councils are closing venues.”

As part of the draft budget proposals for the local authority, the funding is subject to sign-off at full council on 26 February.

If rubber-stamped, the programme would see the Lagoons area closed for up to a year. During that time, the ice rink, gym and other services provided at the Dome would remain open, with leisure swimming available at other pools across the city.

City of Doncaster Council said that the project forms part of a four-year investment programme for its leisure stock, which began in 2020. A project at Askerne Leisure Centre has been completed, while at Thorne, phase one is concluding and phase two getting started.

The Dome opened in the late 1980s as one of the largest leisure centres in Europe, and has been a mainstay of the 320-acre development of the former airdrome site billed as Lakeside.

It is a profitable asset, brining in £1.9m a year which goers to support other leisure facilities through the city. More than a third of this is generated by the Lagoons.

The Done was originally designed and delivered by Faulkner-Brown Hendy Watkinson Stonor, and won a RIBA award in 1991.

According to the report for cabinet, works within the overhaul would include:

  • Refurbishment and repair of structural steelwork
    Replacement and upgrades to changing cubicle and locker systems
    Pool lining refurbishment
    Wall and flooring fabric refurbishment
    Enhancements to entrance atrium
    Addition of concierge pod to front of house
    Improved food and beverage offer
    Addition of 2 new flumes and associated plant
    Addition of external ‘splash pad area’
    Digital entrance kiosk station

Officers said: “These works alongside the mechanical and electrical would return the areas to their former glory as well as introducing new exciting offers that will once again position the Dome’s lagoons as one of the premier regional if not national leisure pools.”

The £14.4m programme is expected to take a year.

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