Dome will not be care home

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NOW that Whitley Bay can look forward to a very exciting future for our Dome, I was disappointed that a recent headline in the News Guardian incorrectly suggested that its future was destined to be a care home.

I can categorically confirm that is incorrect.

From the outset my cabinet and I have been determined that the plan for the future Dome involves an aspect of open use by the public.

I’m pleased the creation of an exciting family entertainment and cultural centre in the Dome does just that.

This will also help to ensure the Dome continues to be an attraction for visitors to Whitley Bay – and residents – and add to the activities already available for the public.

The Dome will be complemented by the impressive pedestrian-only piazza, with public performance space.

This will not only add to the ambiance of the seafront, but will also help guide visitors from our beaches to the Dome and into the vastly improved Whitley Park with its new water play feature due to open later this month.

The addition of a four-star style hotel attached to the Dome will ensure the development is sustainable and complements the existing hotels in Whitley Bay, which remain vital to our commitment to growing the borough’s tourism.

On the wider site, which takes in other available development land such as Brooke Street Gardens, there are proposals for a care home and residential apartments.

I am keen to be able to give the public more information about this and other aspects of the plan for the wider Spanish City development site.

The council is currently working with the preferred developers to hold a special meeting of the Whitley Area Forum on June 2, at Whitley Bay Playhouse, to unveil the development plans.

This will be the first of many opportunities for the public to find out about the proposals – and also to register any questions they have about the future of the Dome.

As elected mayor I’m very aware that this is a development of great importance not just to Whitley Bay, but also to the borough as a whole.

That’s why I am committed to ensuring that the public will continue to be engaged in the development of this project as it moves forward.

MRS LINDA ARKLEY

Mayor of North Tyneside