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Commonwealth Games aquatics centre opens to public

The centre was the only brand-new facility for Birmingham 2022 and was designed with community use at its heart once the Games had finished.

21st July 2023

The lasting impact of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games continues on Monday as Sandwell Aquatics Centre opens to the public.

Including a 50-metre pool, 10m dive tower and 25m diving pool, the centre hosted all aquatics events at last year’s Games but was designed with community use at its heart.

The only brand-new venue for the Games, we invested £2.5m into the project to enable it to serve the Commonwealth’s best athletes, as well as the general public.

A single swimmer swims lengths in the 50m pool at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre

    And our chair, Chris Boardman, was present yesterday for the ceremonial opening of the centre - also attended by para swimmer Ellie Simmonds and our executive director of place, Lisa Dodd-Mayne - after it was handed over to the council earlier this month following its conversion from Games to ‘legacy mode’.

    “From the global spotlight of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, it is brilliant to now see Sandwell Aquatics Centre open its doors to the public and really kickstart its post-Games legacy,” he said.

    “From here, the centre will serve the communities of Sandwell, helping to support the health and wellbeing of those who pass through its doors.”

    As part of Sandwell Council’s Commonwealth Games Legacy Plan, the three existing swimming clubs in the area have come together to form Sandwell Aquatics Club, which will now be based at the centre – as will a new regional diving club.

    The plan also included the development of a swimming programme that meets the needs of local residents and schools – with the community benefiting from the other services housed at the centre on top of the competition facilities.

    These include:

    • community swimming pool (20m x 10m)
    • 3x150m2 activity studios hosting more than 80 classes per week
    • 2x4-court sports halls (690 m2 each)
    • 110+ station fitness gym
    • 25-station ladies-only fitness gym
    • 33-station indoor cycling studio
    • changing village for up to 600
    • dry-diving centre with mini floor trampolines
    • sauna/steam room
    • changing facilities
    • up to 420 car parking spaces
    • café.

    "The centre will serve the communities of Sandwell, helping to support the health and wellbeing of those who pass through its doors."

    Chris Boardman

    Chair, Sport England

    Our funding of the centre was part of a £35m investment into the Games as a whole, with the focus being on creating a lasting impact from the Games, helping to create physical activity opportunities across the West Midlands.

    We’ve also invested £450,000 from the Places 2 Ride programme in the forthcoming Sandwell Urban Bike Park – which will develop green, blue, red and black-graded mountain bike trails in the nearby Sandwell Valley Country Park – and £81,000 to deliver a floodlit artificial pitch for football and cricket at West Smethwick Park Playzone.

    So, for Sandwell Council leader Kerrie Carmichael this marks the start of an exciting period for the area.

    “Sandwell Aquatics Centre was always designed as a community leisure facility first and tailored for use during the Commonwealth Games, rather than the other way around,” she said.

    “The construction has helped create jobs for local people, local apprenticeships and work for local businesses, and delivering the centre has been a catalyst for significant investment in infrastructure projects in Sandwell.

    “The centre will be fantastic for Sandwell people as well as the region’s talented swimmers and divers.

    “They will benefit from having a world-class facility on their doorstep for decades to come.”

    Find out more

    Sandwell Aquatics Centre

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