Client: The Metrodome Complex , Barnsley

Water Factories Splash Zones


Hippo Leisure has transformed the toddler pool at The Metrodome Complex in Barnsley into an interactive parent and toddler zone which has been named ‘Barnacle Bay’. The pool features a water factory and range of splash toys. The bright and colourful play features aim to encourage families to visit the pools regularly and help toddlers and young children of all abilities to develop their water confidence. The Hippo play features are just one part of a £500,000 pools upgrade programme at the Complex.

Play Features:

An interactive waterball makes a visually appealing centrepiece and includes a mast with a tipping bucket arm, a waterwheel arm and a shark shower arm. These play features tip and spray water onto children playing below. For less water confident children, the waterball has a range of low-level features including water jets and fill ‘n’ spill buckets which are filled by the water jets before toddlers can tip the water from the buckets back into the pool. Toddlers also have fun turning two interactive handwheels to control the flow of water to the waterball jets. Two cannon jets create a gentle flow of water into the pool and feed water to an interactive water channel which then cascades to a second water channel. The water channels have paddles which enable children to control the speed and direction of the water flow.

A span pipe connects the waterball mast to a second mast and is also the home of a range of high-level surprise and anticipatory features including four tipping buckets, two waterwheels and a resident pelican water squirt which squirts water from its beak into the pool. The mast features three interactive arms: a shark shower, a waterwheel and a pipefalls. A large tipping bucket and splash board sits on top of the mast and provides a great surprise for children as it fills with water and soaks children below as it tips litres of water into the pool below at regular intervals.

The pool includes a range of splash toys including a spray hoop which encourages children’s water confidence to grow as they are gently showered with a gentle water curtain effect as they pass under it. A colourful water web post jets out water to create a web effect. Children can cover up holes on both the water web and the spray hoop to manipulate the flow of the water. The pool wall is covered in aquatic themed interactive play panels which have a bright and tactile design and feature several games and activities to captivate young minds. Finally, an under the sea themed interactive toddlers slide is popular with toddlers who can play with the spinning fish and see their own reflection in the submarine mirror on the side of the slide as they wait their turn to climb the steps and slide back into the pool.


The play features were installed in a timely manner to ensure only minimal disruption to access to the pools at the complex. The installation was completed in time for the summer holidays and has been enjoyed by both local families as well as those on holiday. The water factory has the potential to be easily updated or expanded in the future if required to keep the pool fresh and appealing to visitors.

Project Feedback:

Simon Potter, Manager at Barnsley Metrodome commented to the Barnsley Chronicle: “The addition of a new teaching pool and the creation of a new interactive parent and toddler zone is going to be a major enhancement to our pool offering”.

The Metrodome Barnsley Case Study

Published 27th September 2018
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