Doncaster Voices: What are your Dome highlights during three decades?

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Monday, 12th February 2018, 12:50 pm
Updated Monday, 12th February 2018, 12:55 pm
The Dome Leisure Centre, Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Stock Doncaster MC 5


I’m lucky to have been working with the Dome for many years and have, as such, seen lots of performances that I probably wouldn’t have gone to see, if it were not in a working capacity.

My personal highlights range from seeing the Kings of Leon, who I later saw in an arena tour and didn’t enjoy as much, there is something to be said for the smaller gig, to Jimmy Carr, who made us gasp with his close to the bone humour but also cry with laughter. I’ve seen musicals a plenty, Joseph was fantastic, intimate comedy gigs, John Richardson did a great set in the bar to a small audience before going off on tour, shouty welsh man Rhod Gilbert was fantastic and I only went along to accompany a friend but am now a big fan. From Ed Sheran to the Kaiser Chiefs and Prodigy to Van Morrison the Dome has hosted some of the greats and there is plenty more to come!

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Where should I start? People have grown up with the Dome, visiting as children with their parents and now visiting as parents with their families. It is one of Doncaster’s most iconic venues and with so many great events held there since it first opened, it’s hard to pick just handful of highlights. While the Dome has experienced many shows, gigs and events, it is probably best known for its wide choice of sports and fun facilities, including the split level ice skating rink which is the only one of its kind in the UK. It’s home to one of the largest fitness facilities in the North of England, seven linked swimming pools and the large hall used for sports like football, badminton and tennis. They’re all fantastic for locals and help to get Doncaster moving. I’m really looking forward to the development of the cycle track at the Dome which will bring a whole new experience for Doncaster residents, either as an opportunity to get out and ride on a competition standard cycle track, or as a spectator watching some of the exciting events it will bring to the borough.


The Doncaster Dome is a great venue for musical events. They’ve hosted so many acts over the years including Ed Sheeran, a personal favourite. The Dome will always hold a nostalgic place for me as it was the setting to many birthday parties and days out in my childhood with the swimming pool and the ice skating rink both great places for children. I must admit that I don’t frequent the venue so much as an adult but I still recognise that it brings great positives to our community, especially as a place to keep kids entertained. The Dome is, for sure, one of the best places to go on a day out in Doncaster as it is next to the cinema, Frankie and Bennys, bowling alley and even a Nandos. The only negative is that it is hard and expensive to travel there by bus. I wish it was closer to the town centre.


I can remember when the idea for The Dome first started to take shape and I reported on the arguments for and against what was a very forward-thinking plan. Nearly 30 years ago families did not have so much leisure time and it wasn’t widely recognised that such a venue could be a huge driver of development too, bringing with it jobs and visitors (and their cash!) from far and wide. For me The Dome means happy times; my children spent many hours there (with me watching on and drinking coffee!) learning to swim, ice-skate, rock climb (remember the climbing wall?) play badminton and street dance to name but a few of what seemed like an exhaustive list of activities. The Fitness Vilage reignited the fitness bug in me. I’ve seen the Royal Shakespeare Company there and I even get my hair done at The Dome.

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