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Billingham Forum

Teesside

Architecture, Regeneration

Billingham Forum, the first integrated leisure and sport facility in Europe.

The swimming pool, ice rink, sports-halls and the Forum Theatre complex, designed by Teesside company Elder & Lester, was opened by the Queen in 1967.

Pedestrianised spaces and walkways link the four distinct buildings of Billingham Forum. The ice rink is a dramatic building at the north-east corner with a uniquely-shaped suspended roof, whilst in the south-east corner the swimming pool has a canted roof with simple aluminium cladding. The theatre’s exterior is unassuming and whilst the auditorium drum and fly-tower are identifiable, the building is considered to have an interesting and architecturally significant interior.

Many notable personalities performed there through the years. And in 2004, when proposals to ‘regenerate’ Billingham Forum excluded the Forum Theatre, the interest generated led its significance to be reconsidered, achieving grade II listed status. On 2 June 2011, the Billingham Forum reopened after a £15 million refurbishment.

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