BLUESTONE has unveiled plans for a groundbreaking new project expected to be a huge investment for the Pembrokeshire economy.

It is anticipated the SkyDome project will open to visitors in spring 2019, initially creating 55 jobs with £3million being spent in the local construction industry.

By 2020, it’s predicted the new all-weather facility will create an additional 300 jobs at Bluestone taking their workforce up to 1000.

The £7million development is a UK first and will see a transparent canopy the size of a football pitch arched over a 7000sqm area encompassing cafes, shops, and a 600-seat amphitheatre.

The terrain under the dome will be landscaped and be planted with trees and grasses to give the sense of being outside.

The project is the brainchild of Bluestone’s CEO William McNamara, who wanted to create a landmark project for the resort for all weathers.

“Our new SkyDome is the perfect compromise between the great outdoors and a dry all weather family activity area.”

“We’ve got lots of plans for the facilities within SkyDome which will take guests on a journey through its winding, gently sloping paths, to a choice of activities for all ages,” said Mr McNamara.

“Proposals include caving, a high ropes course, ‘free-range’ craft activities and an adventure play area. The vision is to provide a spectacular undercover venue bringing the great outdoors indoors.”

£22m will be generated for the local economy over a ten year period, which includes £3m spent with local contractors during the construction phase, and £9m on new staff wages.

Terry Morley, partner at Holder Mathias Architects said: “The use of an ETFE covering on such a scale and in a UK holiday resort environment is, we believe, groundbreaking and will make a significant contribution to further enhancing the attractiveness of the Bluestone offer.”

The project leaders have been working with horticulturalist Ivor Stokes who worked at Kew Gardens, and more recently at the National Botanical Garden of Wales as its Director of Horticulture.