Plans for the new £60m Sandwell Aquatics Centre have been given the green light.
The state-of-the-art leisure centre in Smethwick will provide a world-class sports facility for Sandwell and will host the swimming and diving competitions for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
It will include a 50m Olympic-sized competition swimming pool, 25m diving pool and studio pool. The leisure centre will have 1,000 permanent spectator seats with additional seating to be added on a temporary basis for the Commonwealth Games.
The centre will also boast a dry-dive facility, 108-station gym, 25-station ladies-only gym, three activity studios, eight-court sports hall, indoor cycling studio and sauna/steam room and café. The Londonderry Playing Fields site, will features an urban park, will have a football pitch with new changing facilities, children’s play area and on-site parking for the centre.
It will be built by Wates Construction and run by Sandwell Leisure Trust (SLT).
Plans were approved at planning committee on Wednesday (13 March) and will go to Full Council on 9 April to be ratified.
Councillor Bill Gavan, cabinet member for leisure and Commonwealth Games, said: “This is a very exciting moment for us. “Residents in the Smethwick area told us they desperately wanted new leisure facilities and we can now start moving forward with our plans.
“We are also very excited to have the opportunity to host the diving and swimming competitions in Sandwell for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. This will be a spectacular event and we are looking forward to being part of the Games.
“The centre will provide Sandwell with the opportunity to host a sporting event of international significance and leave a legacy which will give local people access to a world-class leisure facility for generations to come.”
Councillor Gavan added: “I’d also like to thank residents for taking part in our consultations and providing us with valuable feedback which has helped shape the plans. “We will continue to work with them in the coming months and years as the aquatics centre is built.”