New plans to transform Whitley Bay’s most striking building have been unveiled after a new commercial operator was selected.
North Tyneside Council has selected Kymel Trading Limited to manage and run the Spanish City Dome after its restoration.
The company has a track record of successfully operating prestigious venues, hotels and restaurants across the north.
Their ambitious proposals for the Spanish City include removing the ground floor ceiling from the main core of the building, with balcony railings installed; a central multi-functional area offering seating and dining space; a new wedding, function and conferencing centre in the north wing; an area to support a range of cultural and community activities.
The first floor will offer a high-quality restaurant with sea views and a function room space incorporating the eastern wing roof while the seaward-facing full height windows will be restored as originally designed, opening up commanding views of the coast.
And the roof area of the Dome will be transformed into an outdoor seating area accessed by a lift in the north tower.
Shops and cafes will feature on the ground floor, facing the Plaza.
The plans were approved by North Tyneside Council’s Cabinet last Wednesday following a stringent procurement process which invited bids from several potential operators.
Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “This is a major step forward for the regeneration of Whitley Bay and is something we’ve been working towards for a very long time.
“Our majestic Spanish City Dome is iconic across the north east and beyond and I know how much it means to local people who have told us how they want to see the Dome returned to use once again.
“This partnership with Kymel Trading Ltd marks the start of a brand new chapter in Whitley Bay’s wonderful history which will see the building sympathetically transformed into a modern, vibrant and exciting destination venue, heralding the start of a fantastic new future for the area.
“The plans put forward are just perfect for the Dome, building on its rich history whilst securing a new and ambitious long term future.
“Kymel Trading Ltd has a fantastic track record of working with heritage assets including Grade II listed buildings and a strong reputation for quality, which makes them a natural fit as future operator. I am confident that, once complete, the Spanish City Dome will become one of the ultimate entertainment spaces in the north east.”
Paul Mackings, chief executive of Cameron Hall Developments and chairman of Kymel Trading Ltd, said: “The Spanish City Dome is a significant and iconic building in a unique beachfront location that has huge potential to offer something very new and very compelling to the north east and our plans will see us utilise the building in a flexible, changeable and dynamic way.
“This is not just about an investment in the Dome, it’s about an investment in, and commitment to, supporting the successful future of Whitley Bay and North Tyneside.”
The proposals put forward by Kymel Trading Ltd are set to bring at least 75 brand new jobs when the Dome opens to the public, rising to more than 100 once the venue is fully operational.
The confirmation of an operator and plans means that North Tyneside Council can submit its Stage Two bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Dome’s restoration, which it expects to do shortly.
Subject to Heritage Lottery Fund approval, work is expected to start on the Spanish City Dome by early summer 2016 and it is expected that the scheme will take between 12 and 15 months to complete.