It is hard to believe that it is 25 years ago this month that the venue that was to become the catalyst to the regeneration of the area of Doncaster now known as Lakeside opened its doors.
When Doncaster Dome opened, the area became a much more attractive offering to the supermarket, cinema complex, shops, restaurants, house builders and offices that now make up the thriving Lakeside area.
As The Dome celebrates its 25th birthday it is easy to see why the much loved venue has done so well and means so much to so many.
There are seven members of the original team still working with us. They are proud to have been at the leisure and entertainment venue since day one and joining them are the members who have used The Dome to keep fit since it first opened its doors.
The Dome attracts around a million visitors a year and provides a whole range of activities attracting people from all over the country to Doncaster.
I can still remember the excitement in the town when it first opened. I’m proud of what we offer today and how we have changed over the years to ensure that we are making best use of the venue. Whether someone is visiting The Dome to swim, skate, watch a concert or for corporate hospitality we pride ourselves on providing the best possible customer service. There is a real family feel to The Dome and the team works hard to reflect that.
We’ve recently invested in a new Play Zone for under 12s which has brought more people through the doors.
As well as the activities you would expect to take place at the venue, we also put a lot of effort into our community activities.
Our community engagement programme sees us offering a range of discounted schemes and programmes to support a number of local hard to reach groups and specialist populations, including healthy weight solutions, cancer survivorship with Cancer Buddies, Aurora, Macmillan and New Horizons, Cardiac Rehabilitation, New Beginnings for substance misuse groups, foster families, Young Carers in partnership with Barnardos and our Leisure Card scheme for under 16s and adults on benefits.
Our gifted and talented scheme recognises talented sports people in the borough and allows them free access to facilities to encourage them to succeed in their chosen sport.
The Dome is a great place to work and we are extremely proud of our achievements over the past 25 years. We look forward to welcoming customers in October to be a part of our celebrations.
We are planning a celebration to mark the anniversary on October 31 when the venue will hold a number of family activities including a visit from the Ninja Turtles, 1989 prices and a 1989 menu in the cafes and bar, a pool party and an inflatable zone. Hope to see you there!
* Michael Hart, Chief Executive of Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust