Final piece of the jigsaw in Dome restoration plans

The Spanish City, looking along the promenade.
The Spanish City, looking along the promenade.

The final piece of the jigsaw in the restoration of an iconic building has been put in place.

Plans to restore the Spanish City Dome back into use have been formally approved by North Tyneside Council’s planning committee.

At their meeting on Tuesday, planners unanimously voted in favour of the application, which comes after the council secured £3.47m from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help restore the Grade II-listed building on Whitley Bay seafront.

Full planning permission has been given for change of use and refurbishment of the Dome, including two extensions to the east and west elevations to include a new visitors’ entrance.

There would also be a first floor extension to the ground floor roof plus the re-instatement of the previously removed 1910 historic features, including new cupolas to existing towers, loggias to both terraces at first floor.

The plans also included proposals to re-instate the shopfronts, doors and windows.

The restoration of the Spanish City and Dome is expected to cost around £10m, with more than £4m being invested by the council and a Coastal Communities Fund ground of over £2.5m.

Once complete, the development would be home to a restaurant, shops and cafes, with the re-opened Dome also being a high quality leisure, wedding and conferencing destination to be managed by Kymel Trading Ltd.

Work is due to start in August this year, and the project will create up to 100 jobs for local people as well as training opportunities.

The committee also approved an application to seek listed building consent for the refurbishment of the Dome.

After the hearing, Whitley Bay ward councillor John O’Shea said: “I’m really pleased that the planning committee approved these applications which are the final piece of the jigsaw around the redevelopment of the Spanish City site.

“It now paves the way for work to commence in the late summer 2016 and the work is expected to take around 18 months to be completed, so it should be ready in spring 2018.”

Previously, Kymel Trading chief executive Kyle Mackings said: “We are absolutely delighted with the news that the Heritage Lottery Fund have supported our collective bid to breathe new life into the iconic Spanish City.

“The starting gun has now been fired on this unique project to bring visitors old and new back to this attractive part of the north east coast. As the new operators of Spanish City, we look forward to working with residents and businesses in building the buzz back into Whitley Bay.”

Last Thursday, companies interested in being subcontractors to work on the Dome’s restoration attended a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event to find out how they could play a part.

The North Tyneside Construction Sector Group, an arm of the North Tyneside Business Forum, is working with Robertson Construction, which is delivering the major development, to find local subcontractors.

The news follows plans to build a new Premier Inn hotel and restaurant next to the Dome, which were approved by the council in February.