Commonwealth Games October News Update
Sandwell has been given an exciting opportunity to host the swimming and diving games as part of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022. We are working on plans to build a new state-of-the-art leisure centre in Smethwick, on Londonderry Playing Fields located on Londonderry Lane (this is subject to planning permission).
Last year Sandwell MBC carried out a public consultation on leisure services in Sandwell which showed that the location of a new leisure centre in Smethwick was important to our residents and that the current facilities, Smethwick Swimming Centre and Langley Swimming Centre, are no longer meeting their current leisure requirements.
The Londonderry Playing Fields has been identified as a suitable site that is not green-belt to build the new leisure centre. It has an industrial history and is an old clay pit and tip that has subsequently been covered over. This site sits in the middle of Smethwick Swimming Centre and Langley Swimming Centre and is large enough to be developed quickly due to tight timescales.
The new leisure centre will be designed to maximise the green space on the site with a new urban park and children’s play area. Sandwell MBC will also improve the trees on the site and include diverse planting in the plans to improve the bio-diversity of the site and encourage wildlife.
The council are also working with HLF and Big Lottery Fund on a £5.1m improvement project for West Smethwick Park which is within 500m of Londonderry Playing Fields. Our aim is to work with partners to protect the enhanced green space on the new site and in the local vicinity.
The new centre will include enough car parking spaces to meet the demand on the facility. We are working with partners to improve the roads and public transport links in the area which will leave behind improved transport links for residents beyond the 2022 Games.
The new centre will feature an Olympic-sized competition pool, a 25m diving pool, and a community swimming pool that will provide residents with private swimming sessions.
The main pool will feature a boom which means that the length of the pool can be varied and all pools will feature moveable floors to enable a larger number of groups of ages and abilities to use them. Also planned at the centre are:
- 1,000 spectator seats for the swimming pools;
- Three activity studios;
- A minimum of 8-court sports hall;
- A 125-station gym;
- 25 station ladies only gym;
- A dry dive centre;
- An indoor cycling studio;
- A new grass football pitch and changing facilities;
- A sauna/steam room; and
- A café.
The new leisure centre will provide world class facilities to Sandwell residents during the Games and for future generations to come. We hope that you are excited and looking forward to working at the new Aquatics Centre.
Sandwell MBC will be consulting with residents soon on the future use of our existing sites. The Council’s ambition is that no facility will close until the new facility opens to the public.