Work on track for £73 million Sandwell Aquatics Centre

The new £73 million Sandwell Aquatics Centre is on track for completion next year – as it passed another milestone with the completion of the 12 metre dive tower.

The £73 million Sandwell Aquatics Centre is on track for completion in spring 2022
The £73 million Sandwell Aquatics Centre is on track for completion in spring 2022

The Smethwick-based facility is being built off Londonderry Lane to be used in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Work to prepare the site for construction started in July 2019, with main construction work starting in February last year. It has continued without any major delays throughout the coronavirus pandemic and is on schedule to be completed by next spring.

And bosses are confident that the 2022 games will go ahead as planned.

The 12 metre dive tower was completed last month

The dive tower, which took five weeks to build and was completed last month, includes 31 separate English made, concrete pieces weight 233 tonnes in total. The structure took five people 2,000 hours to build.

Ian Reid, Birmingham 2022 chief executive, said: "This is another key milestone in the construction of the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, the only brand new venue for Birmingham 2022. The progress on this facility is clear for everyone to see and it is remarkable how much has been achieved in the space of 12 months.

“The dive tower looks incredible and I am sure its completion will really help to focus the minds of those divers looking to compete at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre in 18 months’ time.”

The £73 million Sandwell Aquatics Centre is on track for completion in spring 2022

The diving competition at Birmingham 2022 will see men and women complete in the one metre and three metre springboard and the 10 metre platform event, as well as the three metre springboard and 10 metre platform synchronised events. For the first time at a Commonwealth Games, there will also be mixed synchronised three metre springboard and mixed synchronised 10 metre platform diving included on the programme.

The Sandwell Aquatics Centre will host the swimming and para swimming at the Commonwealth Games from July 29 to August 3, and the diving competition between August 4 and 8. It will be the stage for more medal moments than any other Birmingham 2022 venue – with 66 medal events to be held at the facility in total.

The project is being overseen by Sandwell Council, which has contributed £27 million.

The 12 metre dive tower was completed last month

Councillor Maria Crompton, the authority's deputy leader, said: "We are thrilled to be marking yet another major milestone, the completion of the 10-metre dive tower, at the new Sandwell Aquatics Centre on Londonderry Lane in Smethwick. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our construction partners who have worked diligently throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to bring this amazing venue to life.

“The completion of the dive tower marks a pivotal moment for the aquatics centre and displays this world-class facility as the host venue for the swimming and diving events for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games."

Team England has a great record of winning diving medals in the Commonwealth Games – with 31 golds, 22 silvers and 22 bronze medals.

Robyn Birch, a Team England driver who will be hoping to compete at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre in 2022, added: "The dive tower looks fantastic and its completion is a really important milestone for those divers looking to compete at Birmingham 2022."

The building will officially open for public use in May 2023. The facility will also include a 50m Olympic-sized swimming pool, as well as a 25m diving pool, community swimming pool and permanent seating for 1,000 people.

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