A BUILDING that is the only one of its type in the country has been listed by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

The Edinburgh Dome, off Imperial Road, is owned by Malvern St James school and was built in the 1970s as a sports hall. However, it has been superseded by the new sports hall on Barnards Green Road.

In 2006, the school applied for planning permission to demolish the dome but was turned down.

Now the DCMS has issued its decision to grant the dome Grade II listed status, describing it as "a building of special architectural or historic interest".

Diane Macfarlane of the departments's Heritage Protection Branch said that the dome's method of construction is rare internationally and it is now unique in this country.

The dome is also described as "an elegant design" that "represents its period very well", and "remarkably intact with a great number of its original fixtures and fittings".

Bob Tilley of Malvern Civic Society said: "We're delighted. This is something we've been pushing for for some time. The big question now is what happens to it now."

Suggestions for future uses include ice-skating rink, youth centre and museum of radar.

School bursar Adrian Davis said the dome's future will be discussed by the governing council, which meets on Saturday, June 20.

"I imagine the choice will broadly be between the school finding a new use for it, or finding a way to dispose of it," he said.

"We've been waiting over two years for this decision, and the wait has been a great frustration for us. At least now we will be able to move on."