WORK is underway on a £7m development that creators say will see Hartlepool having the UK’s first sports domes.
The ambitious project will see two sports domes erected at the Mayfair Centre site in Tees Road, Seaton Carew, creating more than 30 jobs.
The largest dome will be able to house six five-a-side or two seven-a-side pitches, while the second dome is aimed at golfers and will include a putting course, golf simulators, a chipping green, an indoor driving range and a shop.
The existing Mayfair Centre building at the site will be transformed into a state-of-the-art gym with membership for 2,000 people, along with a steam room, sensory room to stimulate disabled children and a gym aimed specifically at youngsters.
Conference and banqueting facilities will also be upgraded at the centre so it will be able to host a variety of events.
The scheme will also see the creation of 244 houses in partnership with Persimmon Homes, which will be a phased development over the next three years.
Entrepreneur Brian Morton, who is behind the scheme, said nothing like this exists anywhere else in the UK.
“These domes are very popular in America where they are used by both amateur and professional sports people,” he said.
“They are incredibly versatile and will provide facilities that people won’t have seen anywhere else in the country, let alone in the North-East.
“With the whole world looking at the UK with the Olympics, it’s fantastic that we’re able to announce that this scheme is finally underway.”
The domes are made of a durable polyvinyl material and once the structure is in place they will be filled with air in the way that a hot air balloon is inflated.
Contractors have this week moved on to the site and the domes should be in place by early December.