Trampolines plan for high profile former Doncaster town centre department store

Doncaster's former British Home Stores department store is set to re-open - as a trampolining centre

Thursday, 28th September 2017, 3:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th October 2017, 9:47 am
This is how Doncaster's former British Homes Stores department store could soon look under new plans
This is how Doncaster's former British Homes Stores department store could soon look under new plans

The high profile unit at the Frenchgate Centre has not been filled since the national chain closed down, with the Doncaster branch shutting for the final time in August last year.

But now, almost a year later, plans have been drawn up which would see the building completely refitted as a leisure venue, and run by an Australian operator called Flip Out..

It is expected to create around 50 jobs, on the basis of similar schemes in other towns and cities.

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Under plans which have already been approved by Doncaster Council officials using delegated powers, the ground floor of the shop and the basement would be used to accommodate a number of trampolines, which people would pay to use.

There would also be a cafe inside the building as part of the scheme.

The news comes just a week after officials at Business Doncaster told the Free Press how they planned to cut the number of empty shop units in the town centre.

A design statement submitted by architects Croft Architecture said: "Flip Out’s mission is to create a fun and exhilarating experience that also promotes health and exercise through fun activities and games. Flip Out arenas provide Olympic standard trampolines plus other apparatus - including wall climbing, angled trampolines and foam pits.

"Flip Out arenas are accessible to visitors of all ages, from the young to the elderly and offer organised activities varying from children’s parties to adult fitness classes."

Case officer for Doncaster Council, Elizabeth Maw, said: "It is considered the granting of the proposal would contribute to the retail core and quality of the town centre by increasing footfall to the area.

"The proposal will offer a new leisure facility to the town centre thereby increasing choice. As such, a trampoline area is considered to have a positive effect to the vitality and viability of the town centre."

"The proposal results in the loss of a retail unit along a primary shopping frontage but the new use will increase footfall to this retail core and offer a new leisure use in the town centre, which outweighs any harm caused by the reduced retail offer."

The council report also revealed there would be other leisure elements to the scheme, which will be in one of the biggest shop units in the town centre and will be on a high profile high street site.

It would be over 50 per cent made up of trampolining facilities, with potentially 10 per cent of space allowed to be used for each of climbing, assault course, soft play, and slides

A spokesman for Doncaster Council's Local Plan Team (Retail) said the nature of the proposal promoted a healthy leisure use and the applicant had stated their commitment to providing opportunities to all members of the community.

They added they saw no overall objection to the proposal.