Legacy phase well under way at Sandwell Aquatics Centre

Legacy phase well under way at Sandwell Aquatics Centre
Home News Legacy phase well under way at Sandwell Aquatics Centre

Exciting plans to deliver the legacy phase of the Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Smethwick and to give Sandwell one of the best community leisure facilities in the country are taking a huge step forward

Following the eyes of the world focusing on international swimming, para-swimming and diving events there for the Commonwealth Games this summer, work is now progressing well on making the centre ready to open to the public in 2023.

In August, Sandwell Council officially handed over its purpose-built venue to Wates for the legacy construction phase.

The first two phases were completed in partnership with Wates in time for the Games despite the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and the wettest winter on record.

The legacy project sees the centre being remodelled and transformed into a state-of-the-art leisure centre for the people of Sandwell and the wider region, set to open to the public in summer 2023.

The now internationally-recognised venue will retain its 50-metre Olympic-sized swimming pool, 10-metre-high dive tower and 25-metre dive pool, along with seating for a thousand spectators.

In addition to these world-standard features, the centre will also boast the following facilities:

  •  a community swimming pool (20m x 10m)
  • three 150 sqm activity studios
  • two four-court sports halls (690sqm each)
  • 108-station fitness gym
  • 25-station women-only fitness gym
  • 33-station indoor cycling studio
  •  changing village for up to 600 users
  • dry diving centre with mini floor trampolines
  • a sauna/steam room
  • new outdoor football pitch and changing facilities
  • new urban park and children’s play areas
  • parking for up to 300 vehicles
  • café.
The centre will be fantastic for Sandwell people who, together with the region’s talented swimmers and divers, will benefit from having a world-class facility on their doorstep for decades to come.

This amazing development is a key project for both regeneration and health and the construction itself has already boosted the local economy by helping to create jobs, apprenticeships and work for local businesses in the supply chain.

This was always designed as a community leisure facility first and tailored for use during the Commonwealth Games, rather than the other way around.

The centre is part of the council’s wider plans to regenerate Sandwell and drive further investment and opportunity, so it’s great to see how the legacy phase is taking shape.”

Councillor Kerrie Carmichael

Sandwell Council Leader

A swimming programme is currently being developed to meet the needs of local residents, schools and swimming clubs, to make sure the local community benefits fully from the centre.

Future plans will see the 10-metre high dive tower and all the diving boards fully used through a comprehensive diving programme, as well as developing a diving club for Sandwell and the surrounding areas.

Swim England is devising a regional diving programme across the region with a firm focus on Sandwell.

Residents of all ages will want to use Sandwell Aquatics Centre and enjoy health, fitness and social benefits from what it has to offer. It will particularly help us to continue our work to increase children and young people’s physical activity.

Sandwell already has the most active kids in the region and fourth highest in the whole country. This has been achieved by working in partnership with community groups like the Albion Foundation, and also through Sandwell’s extensive free school holiday swimming programme. We know there is more to do to encourage physical activity and this centre will help us with that.

We can’t wait to open the completed centre next year and to welcome visitors from Sandwell and from around the country to this fabulous facility.”

Councillor Laura Rollins 

Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism

Since we started working on Sandwell Aquatics Centre we have always been focused on a design that provides a legacy for the community.

By creatively adapting this design, we’ve been able to produce a world-class competition facility, which has played host to its first international sporting event this summer. It’s a model of working which should be the template for future international events.

This project has already generated so much positive impact through employment, local spend and social value, and we’re committed to increasing this even more as we look towards our final handover, cementing the centre as a cornerstone of the Sandwell community for generations to come.”

John Carlin

Regional director for Wates Construction

It’s fantastic to see the work that is being done to transform the Sandwell Aquatics Centre into an incredible legacy facility for the local community.

The Sandwell Aquatics Centre was a superb venue for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, hosting dramatic swimming and para-swimming events and a spectacular diving competition, and we hope that young people from across the region will have been inspired by these performances and will be looking forward to using this facility very soon.”

Nicola Turner

Director of Legacy for Birmingham 2022

The club is excited to move into a modern facility that will meet our needs and those of our community.

The polo players can play in deep water and the swimmers can swim in a competition pool but more importantly we are excited to be able to continue provide lifelong participation in an aquatic sport.”

Raj Singh

Head coach at Sandwell Aquatics Club

Over the next five years, the University will be investing £600 million across its campuses to meet student demand, ensure student experience is of the highest standard and scientists and academics are carrying our research in state-of-the-art facilities.

Work will include removing buildings no longer fit for purpose, refurbishing existing buildings, improving accommodation and enhancing open spaces.

The developments will help to support the University’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2030 as work will not only be improvements to the estate, but will also consider travel, waste and recycling.

Plans for different phases of the development will be shared with the community accordingly and planning permission sought.