Mixed-use redevelopment plans for former Doncaster swimming baths

St James Swimming Baths in the Civic and Cultural Quarter of Doncaster will be redeveloped.

A mixed-use redevelopment has been proposed for a grade II-listed former swimming baths and events venue in South Yorkshire, which once hosted a performance by the Beatles.

Luke Holdings, supported by Max Design Consultancy, has submitted plans to City of Doncaster Council for the redevelopment of St James Swimming Baths.

St James' Baths officially opened on 9 June 1932. Its swimming pool hall was designed so it could be converted into a concert and dance venue.

During the winter months, the pool was covered with a sprung maple floor enabling the hall to hold about 1,500 people. With a stage at one end and a projection box for films, the building hosted performers, including the Beatles, who played a gig in the 1960s

The pool was the first in England to feature underwater lighting. It also included Turkish and Russian baths in the basement with mosaic floor and wall tiling and a drinking fountain.

Planning permission is sought for the redevelopment of the existing building to create two apartments, an 11-bedroom aparthotel, a café and reception area and a first-floor balcony to be used as art gallery and exhibition area.

A bar and restaurant would be created in part of the main pool area, with a health spa facility planned for the basement, ground floor and first floor, including utilising part of the existing swimming pool, bringing the Turkish, Roman and Russian Baths back into use, and reinstating the historic drinking fountain.

The former boiler house would be demolished to enable the construction of a five-storey building featuring 36 apartments.

A statement submitted as part of the application said: "The intention for the development is to bring back to use a cultural and heritage important building set within an important destination area of the Civic and Cultural Quarter in the City of Doncaster by implementing the proposal will allow for necessary repair and refurbishment works to take place to secure the long-term viability for the building."

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