A HUGE new sports dome appeared on the Seaton Carew skyline yesterday as part of a multi-million pound sport and leisure development.
The 50ft high structure, the first of its kind, went up yesterday.
It is part of a £7m development which will see a host of new leisure facilities and 244 new houses built in the area.
The inflatable sports dome was blown up in just a couple of hours and will house six five-a-side or two-seven-a-side football pitches when complete.
It measures 440ft in length and is 170ft wide.
It is hoped to be open to the public a few weeks after work inside the dome is completed.
A second, smaller dome, housing state-of-the-art golfing facilities, is due to go up by the end of the week, weather permitting.
The existing Mayfair Centre will be transformed into a state-of-the-art gym, steam room, sensory room to stimulate disabled children and a gym aimed at youngsters.
Its conference and banquet facilities will also be upgraded.
The leisure project at Tees Road will create 30 jobs and leaders hope the full scheme will be open to the public in early December.
Alan Cruickshank, marketing director of Sports Domes, a trading arm of Seaton Leisure, said: “We are trying to attract a family audience.
“We have put together something which is hopefully going to be very attractive to a family unit so parents can come with their kids and the children can enjoy themselves as well.
“These domes have not been used on the same scale elsewhere. They come from America and are set to withstand severe weather.
“They are also energy efficient.”
The second dome will feature a putting course, golf simulators, chipping green and indoor driving range, plus a shop and cafe.
The development is the brainchild of Brian Morton, owner of the nearby Staincliffe Hotel, who has been working alongside PGA golfer Craig Donaldson.
The new housing by Persimmon Homes will be built over the next three years.