Business News

Aquatics Centre will be a splash hit for Sandwell

Major construction is now underway on the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, the state-of-the-art venue being built to host swimming and diving at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The aquatics centre, in Londonderry Lane in Smethwick, will be the only

brand new venue for the Games, which will be staged from 27 July to 7 August in 2022. Ian Reid, chief executive officer for Birmingham 2022 said: “We are

delighted that major construction has now started at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre. This is a hugely exciting moment for us as organisers of the Games, as this fabulous centre is going to be one of the jewels in the Birmingham 2022 crown, especially as it’s the only brand-new competition venue being built ahead of the Games. “It’s great to see how much progress has already been made on site and I’m looking forward to receiving regular updates over the next two years.”

‘2022 will be a great year of celebration and the new aquatics centre will put Sandwell right at the heart of the Commonwealth Games’

The facility will include a 50m Olympic-sized swimming pool, as well as a

25m diving pool, community swimming pool and permanent seating for 1,000 people, with additional seating being brought in for the Games. Additional facilities will include a dry dive area, activity studios, sports

halls, a fitness suite. There will also be a football pitch and an urban park on the site too. The project is being overseen by Sandwell Council, whose leader Cllr Yvonne Davies, said: “Being part of the Games has meant we have been

New pool: how the aquatic centre will look

able to build an even bigger and better facility which will be a magnet for swimming excellence across the region and we hope future Commonwealth swimmers will be trained at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre. ” The £73 million project is being funded from a number of sources.

Sandwell Council is contributing £27 million to the cost of the project, with a further £38.5 million coming from the overall Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games budget. Another £7.6 million is being provided by Sport England, Black Country

LEP, Sandwell Leisure Trust (SLT) and University of Wolverhampton. Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

said: “2022 will be a great year of celebration and the new aquatics centre will put Sandwell right at the heart of the Commonwealth Games. “We're investing £600 million in the Games to deliver the biggest event

the West Midlands has ever seen and leave a lasting legacy, in this case by converting the world class facilities being built here into a state-of-the-art leisure centre for local people.” Work on the facility is expected to be completed in spring 2022.

Track record helps seal stadium deal

Spectacular: How the new stadium will look

The contract to redevelop Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium into a high-quality venue for the Commonwealth Games has been awarded by Birmingham City Council to McLaughlin & Harvey. McLaughlin & Harvey has a

strong track record in undertaking large prestigious projects across the UK and has previously successfully completed projects for major games events, including the London Olympics, and sporting developments for numerous football and rugby clubs.

The Alexander Stadium project, a

scheme worth an overall £72million, received unanimous support from the Birmingham City Council planning committee in January 2020. It will see the venue’s permanent capacity increased from 12,700 to 18,000 – with the ability to temporarily increase it up to a maximum of 40,000 for major events. The regeneration of Perry Barr –

where the stadium is located – will see more than £500million of investment in the coming years.

The wider plans for the area

include new housing, improved transport and related upgrades to infrastructure and public space. Council leader Ian Ward said:

“The regeneration of Perry Barr is one of the key priorities for the council, so the finalisation of a contract to rebuild the Alexander Stadium marks the passing of yet another significant milestone as we translate our plans into reality for the people of Birmingham. “We have secured an

experienced contractor with a

strong track record of delivery on schemes like this and look forward to the progress they make in the weeks and months ahead. “Just as important as this are the

social value and environmental commitments we have secured from McLaughlin & Harvey, which will ensure this scheme is delivered in a sustainable way that not only provides a fantastic new facility for the city, but meaningful employment and training opportunities too.” Construction is expected to be completed in late 2021.

April 2020 CHAMBERLINK 35

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