GRAND DESIGNS FOR PLYMOUTH’S OCEAN DOME
Grand designs for a £10 million multi-purpose building on the Hoe have been unveiled today as the deadlines for bids for the iconic site closed at midday today. The plans mean demolishing the derelict and unused Plymouth Dome, and building a spectacular three-floor curved building into the Hoe cliff top with a grass flat roof – which effectively extends the Hoe.
A small group of Plymouth entrepreneurs are looking to buy the lease for 125 years from Plymouth City Council, and proposing to double the size of the footage, building three floors, linking the Hoe pathways, and creating a spacious building that will make full use of the views over one of England’s most beautiful bays.
The new complex will also include an outdoor concert facility for open-air events, and be the home for a new Sea Horse Trust exhibition.
Other plans within the landmark site would include a mini theatre, licensed bar, restaurant and cafe, prestigious wedding venue, a TV studio and business venue for local companies to hold functions and conferences.
Councillor Nick Kelly, leader of the Conservative group on Plymouth City Council, said:
“This is a bold and radical decision to demolish the Plymouth Dome and start again – and is very commendable. If the developers can create a new hub that will draw in local people and visitors that meets the desire of the local community and city, and at the same time build a quality landmark that is distinctive, and yet sympathetic to our famous Hoe foreshore – it should be seriously considered by city councillors.”
Developers for the site are looking to install a Public Tourist information office to join up all the attractions around the Hoe foreshore such as Drake’s Island, Smeaton’s Tower, and Tinside Lido, and eventually, take over the running of the Art Deco’s Grade 2 listed outdoor pool – which could save the council over £250K per year.
Dale Beeson, director of ADG Architects who has been working on the plans, said:
“The various pedestrian routes currently come to an abrupt stop at the existing building. Plymouth’s Ocean Dome will address this by actively incorporating these paths into the building itself, therefore providing a fully inclusive and accessible design. Our bid has been filed before today’s deadline, and what makes our plans bold and imaginative is that we are a local team looking to deliver an exciting new development that will draw in local people and visitors alike to this fantastic destination on Plymouth Hoe.”
The Plymouth Dome was opened by the Queen to great fanfare in 1989 and attracted over 2.3 million visitors over 15 years before being shut down by the Council in 2006. Over the past 20 years, the Plymouth Dome has spent much of its time being idle, until it was turned into a restaurant that finally closed last year.
A Spokesman for the (POD) Plymouth’s Ocean Dome, said:
“When I came to Plymouth 23 years ago; I stood at the end of the Hoe and was disappointed with the view looking at the roof of the existing Dome building. Ever since then I have had a clear vision of what should be there; and working with the team at ADG over the last few weeks they have brought that one giant step closer to reality! They clearly are a very talented group of professionals and one of the best architect firms in the whole of the South West. If Plymouth doesn’t do this – then it will be a massive missed opportunity, if it does…it will be a massive step forward for our Ocean City.”