Steel frame goes up on new £18m centre

This is the latest picture of the £18 million Portway Lifestyle Centre taking shape on the site of the old Oldbury Leisure Centre.

Steel frame goes up on new £18m centre

Council bosses say the project to complete the leisure, health and social care complex is on track – despite downpours over the summer. Contractor Thomas Vale has erected the building's steel frame and is now preparing to start on the brickwork. Due to open by late summer next year, the completed lifestyle centre will create 12 new jobs.

Councillor Steve Eling, Sandwell Council's deputy leader and cabinet member for strategic resources, said: "Thomas Vale has faced some difficult weather conditions since work began but it's on schedule to deliver what will be one of the most modern leisure centres in the country."

It will feature a full-sized artificial grass pitch, outdoor exercise trail, sports hall, hydrotherapy pool, gym and weight area, dance studio, sensory room, climbing wall and café. There will also be a GP practice.

The lifestyle centre is a joint scheme between Sandwell Council, Sandwell Leisure Trust, Sandwell Primary Care Trust and Sandwell Liftco.

Sport England has provided £1.5m from their Iconic Facilities legacy fund.

Sport England Property Director, Charles Johnston, said: "It is great to see work progressing with the Portway Lifestyle Centre.

"Through our Iconic Facilities legacy funding we are bringing the magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games to communities across the country so those inspired to give sport a go will a have first-class facility in which to do so."

Oldbury Leisure Centre, in Newbury Lane, closed at the end of last year.

Planning permission was granted for the first phase of the scheme in 2008, with work due to start in 2009, before it was hit with delays. It was finally given the go-ahead in April 2011.

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