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Metrodome’s Milestone Birthday

The Metrodome Leisure Complex will celebrate its 30th anniversary this month

The award-winning leisure facility was officially opened in July 1989 by Lord Kinnock, who was leader of the labour party at the time. HRH The Queen and HRH Prince Philip were also in attendance on the day.

The Metrodome cost £14.5 million to build, becoming one of the largest and most prestigious facilities in the United Kingdom at the time. It quickly became popular with locals due to its convenient location at the heart of Barnsley and the variety of facilities available.

BPL, a not-for-profit charitable trust, took over management of the facility in 1999, transforming several areas of the building.

Tim Wilson, the Chief Executive of BPL, is looking forward to celebrating the Metrodome’s milestone birthday.

He said: “It is fantastic to see how far the Metrodome Leisure Complex has come over the years. Its success is down to our loyal customers and the community for supporting us.

“The past 30 years have been fantastic for the Metrodome. Here’s to the next 30!”

BPL launched Your Space Metrodome in March, which involved reinvesting around £1 million of surpluses back into fitness facilities. Your Space brings innovative fitness with a smile, and we’re proud to be the friendliest fitness facility in the region. 

The state-of-the-art facilities are a far cry from the Metrodome’s humble 20 metre x 10 metre fitness suite it originally started with. Now the fitness facilities are spread across two expansive gym areas (both featuring mezzanines), fitness suites for classes, a cycle studio and a relaxation area.

The Metrodome originally housed five pools, including a competition, diving and leisure pools. The area has since been transformed into Calypso Cove Waterpark in 2012, which benefitted from the addition of an interactive toddler splash pool, Barnacle Bay, in 2018.

The waterpark was developed by the same team who worked on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean and features a 15ft pirate skull. Remarkably, visitors to the waterpark have come for as far as Australia to visit to experience the theme!

When the complex opened, swimming attendance was on a national decline. However, the Metrodome managed to overcome the issue, experiencing a 16% increase in swimming attendance in the first year, and has continued to grow year on year.

Metrodome Arena, as it is known as now, comprised of sports courts, including badminton, basketball and volley courts in 1989. The venue has since transformed into an arena which hosts international sporting events including PDC Darts and the International Snooker Championships.

Another area to receive a revamp was Metrodome Bowl, which was originally a Bowls Hall. Families can now enjoy an 8-lane, ultra-modern bowling alley which was refurbished in 2018!

The Metrodome is also home to 5-star food hygiene rated restaurants (The Rigby Café and The Hideout).

BPL will be celebrating the special occasion by organising a variety of events. The company also optimistically invited HRH The Queen back to the Metrodome to see the venue 30 years on. Unfortunately, her Majesty declined the invitation due to her busy schedule, however she hopes that all members of staff and visitors have a brilliant time celebrating the milestone!

Do you have any memories of the Metrodome in 1989? The Metrodome Leisure Complex would like you to get in touch! If you have any photos or memories please email marketing@bpl.org.uk with the subject as METRODOME MEMORIES.

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