Transformation plan for South Yorkshire venue

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Plans have been unveiled to transform one of South Yorkshire’s biggest leisure centres into an ‘iconic arena’ with an ‘inspirational’ feel.

Barnsley Council and Barnsley Premier Leisure are proposing to spend £1 million revamping the Metrodome.

The town centre venue hosts regular indoor sporting events including boxing matches.

Proposals involve creating a glazed, atrium-style entrance at the rear of the current building where the existing sports hall is currently located.

The rest of the centre would be remodelled - and officials say the revamped Metrodome would have a ‘contemporary’ feel.

A report by the council and operator Barnsley Premier Leisure, predicts extra events at the facility would have a ripple effect for the local economy.

“The increased footfall will ripple out to generate business uplift for local hotels, bars, cafes, restaurants, providers of other services and the town centre as a whole,” says the report.

The main focus of the arena would be a 1,350-seat auditorium for events as diverse as boxing matches, darts, snooker, cage fighting, 10 pin bowling, gymnastics and tae kwondo.

According to the report, Sky, Matchroom Sports, PDA Darts and snooker promoters have ‘shown interest’ in using the centre as a television venue.

The council and BPL also want to look at using the centre for corporate events and parties, dinners and awards ceremonies.

“The design and construction of the arena would add substantial kudos to the Metrodome and to the town,” BPL said.

Failure to invest would leave a ‘deteriorating’ building with seating in the main hall in poor condition and events relocating elsewhere, the company warns.