Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Doncaster Earth Centre transformation work begins

Work is under way to turn the former Earth Centre into a multimillion-pound children's activity centre.

The complex will boast an 11,000 sq ft [1,000 sq m] indoor activity centre and sports hall, computer classrooms, meeting rooms and amphitheatres.

It is expected to open in March 2012 and could create up to 200 full-time and temporary jobs.

The Earth Centre was an environmental visitor attraction. It closed in 2004 after failing to attract enough people.

The centre originally opened in 1999 on the site of a former colliery at Denaby at a cost of £55m.

Developer Kingswood agreed to buy the site from the council in March.

Linda Addy, managing director of Kingswood, said they were building on the Earth Centre's existing facilities.

She said: "We're going to rejuvenate it and bring it back to life. The former gallery will become a big gymnasium and we'll be installing ICT classrooms in there.

"The water-havesting plant, we're going to get that back up and running. That's going to be forming part of one of our educational programmes.

"So whatever's there we're going to bring back to life and use it to create educationally rich programmes."

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