Work to build Smethwick Commonwealth Games aquatics centre to start in January

Work to build a new aquatics centre for the Commonwealth Games will begin in January.

How the aquatics centre will look
How the aquatics centre will look

Council leaders in Sandwell will sign off on funding and contract agreements for the state-of-the-art centre next week - but the project will cost £13m more than planned.

Preparation work at the site on Londonderry Lane in Smethwick is already under way, with construction to start in the new year.

The facility will play host to some of the biggest swimming and diving stars in the world at the 2022 Games before then becoming a leisure centre open to the public.

The site will also feature a park, football pitch and children’s play area.

The cost of the centre had previously been put at £60m.

Sandwell Council is putting £27m towards the project with £38.5m coming from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games budget.

A further £7.6m will come from Sport England, Black Country LEP, Sandwell Leisure Trust and the University of Wolverhampton.

Council chiefs have hailed the arrival of the new centre which they say will boost the local economy and bring job opportunities to the borough.

The facility will feature a 50m Olympic-sized swimming pool, a 25m diving pool and a studio pool along with 1,000 permanent spectator seats.

Additional seating will be added on a temporary basis for the Games.

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