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Major milestone reached on the Sandwell Aquatics Centre site

Published 29th October 2020

This month marks a huge milestone at the new Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Smethwick.

A lot has changed on site over the summer months with work progressing quickly on the leisure centre.  All three swimming pools, including the 50m competition pool, are complete and the structural steelwork has started with the first three roof trusses now in place.  Over the next few months work will start on the walls and roof of the building and installation of the dive tower will start before Christmas.

Sandwell Council has been working closely with construction partner Wates Construction Limited to ensure work continued on site during the national lockdown earlier this year, while still adhering to government guidelines on social distancing and other health and safety measures which were put in place to protect employees.

This month has seen major progress with the steel truss and main frame erected. With the steel frame and roof trusses starting to come out of the ground, the building is starting to take shape and the scale of the new centre and the facilities within can really be appreciated.

The state-of-the-art facility will create a lasting legacy for community health and wellbeing with its 50m Olympic-sized swimming pool as well as a 25m diving pool, community swimming pool and seats for up to 1,000 spectators.

Other facilities at the aquatics centre will include three activity studios, two 4-court sports halls, a 108-station fitness suite with a 25-station ladies-only gym, dry diving facilities, an indoor cycling studio, a new football pitch, a café, and changing facilities including a sauna and steam room. Externally, a new urban park will feature a children’s play area.

Councillor Maria Crompton, Deputy Leader of Sandwell Council, said: “It is just amazing seeing the new aquatics centre come to life. The steel truss and frame has really added a sense of scale and you can visualise just how great this centre will be as a facility for local people.

“The construction of this new facility has already benefited local residents by giving them the opportunity to gain employment as apprentices on this major project.

“I want to thank everyone who has been working tirelessly to make sure we remain on track to deliver this world-class centre for our residents.

“The centre will see massive improvements to leisure facilities in Sandwell and I am excited to see work continue to progress in the coming months.”

John Carlin, regional managing director for the Midlands at Wates Construction, said: “We’ve been on site a year now, building the pools and laying all the groundwork, but with the steel framework in place we are really starting to demonstrate the sheer size of this ambitious, exciting build.

“It is a true landmark for the region and will offer so many benefits to the community.

“Sandwell Aquatics Centre represents an incredibly complex feat of design and engineering and, despite the external challenges of COVID-19, we’re right on track to deliver it on schedule.

“This is entirely due to the expertise, hard work and determination of everyone involved – our site teams, local apprentices, supply chain and Sandwell Council – and I look forward to the next milestone being reached.”

The £73m project is set to open to the public in the spring of 2023.

View the video of steel truss going being erected on site

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