Sandwell Aquatics Centre on track to make splash at Birmingham 2022

Organisers of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games have hailed progress on the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, the only brand new venue being developed for next year’s edition of the multi-sport event.

The latest state-of-play on the facility was revealed yesterday (Thursday) with the competition and diving pools now completely tiled, the moveable floor complete and the steps added to the 10m dive tower.

The foundations for the temporary warm up pool have also been started and 650 square metres of acoustic render has been added in the main pool hall. Over the next few weeks, the permanent seating will be installed, the pools will be filled for the first time and the springboards will be added, as preparations for the Games continue at pace.

The Centre, which is located in Smethwick, just a few miles from the host city for next summer’s Commonwealth Games, will be the venue for the swimming and Para Swimming competition from July 29 to August 3 and the diving competition from August 4 to August 8, meaning that it will be in use for all 11 days of competition at Birmingham 2022.

Ian Reid, chief executive of Birmingham 2022, said: “With the tiles laid in all of the pools, the moveable floor complete and the dive tower steps in place, you can really now get a sense of what an impressive competition venue it will be.

“With aquatics as one of our most popular sports in our recent ticket ballots, with thousands of people securing tickets to come and watch the swimmers, Para swimmers and divers compete here next summer, I know the atmosphere in this venue is going to be absolutely electric.”

As well as being a key facility for the Commonwealth Games, the Sandwell Aquatics Centre will also be one of the greatest legacies of Birmingham 2022, with the local community set to benefit from having a brand new, world-class facility on their doorstep.

The project is being overseen by Sandwell Council and Councillor Danny Millard, Cabinet Member for Culture and Tourism, with a responsibility for Commonwealth Games, said: “The construction work has come on leaps and bounds since it began, and you can now begin to visualise how the venue will look when completed.

“The Centre will be used by local people after the Games and will serve the community and wider region for decades to come.”

The Centre has cost £73m (€85.4m/$97.8m) to develop, with Sandwell Council contributing £27m and £38.5m coming from the overall Birmingham 2022 budget. A further £7.6m is being added from Sport England, Black Country LEP, Sandwell Leisure Trust and University of Wolverhampton.

The Centre remains on budget and on schedule and is due to be completed in Spring 2022.

Images: Birmingham 2022