Express & Star

Excitement as Sandwell Aquatics Centre ready to open for public

The public will finally get to dive in and enjoy the multi-million pound pool built for the Commonwealth Games from Monday.

Last updated
Ellie Simmonds and Andy Street show off the completed pool area

After successfully hosting the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games last summer, the £73 million Sandwell Aquatics Centre has now been transformed into a leisure centre.

It boasts a 50m swimming pool, a quieter studio pool, the diving pool with 10m high dive tower, a huge gym, three exercise studios, indoor cycling studio, 3 swimming pools and much more.

A launch event was held yesterday as guests including Walsall’s Paralympic gold medal winning swimmer Ellie Simmonds OBE and chairman of Sport England Chris Boardman MBE were given a tour of the site. And schoolchildren also got the chance to jump in yesterday and get some swimming tips from Ellie too. She said: “What’s great about this facility is not just that it’s got this amazing pool, but also the sports hall, the little swimming pool and the wider impact that it’s going to have on the whole community.

“It is going to draw so many people in and see so many people swimming, with local schools able to get access to the pool. That means they’ll be able to learn to swim, which is such a great sport, but also important for water safety as we live in a region with canals and rivers and lakes, so it’s going to have a massive effect on the whole community. It would have been amazing if this had been here when I was coming up, but what will be great is to see all the schools coming in and seeing how great it looks, with the windows with glass and bringing the weather into the pool.”

The work has been completed after three years and three phases
The pool can be split into up to three separate pools

Leader of Sandwell Council Kerrie Carmichael said: “I would say to pepole to come and have a look and see what we have to offer because it’s an amazing facility and has been built for the community.

“This is also part of the legacy to get children on board to use the centre and help them keep fit and healthy as there’s nowhere else in the West Midlands where an adult or child can swim in an Olympic-sized pool, except for here.” Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said the centre brought back fond memories of last year’s Commonwealth Games and was proof of the event’s legacy.