Portway Lifestyle Centre Questions

Here is a summary of frequently asked questions about the exciting new health, well-being and leisure centre for Sandwell, Portway Lifestyle Centre. Our vision of the centre is: "A vibrant, unique, sports, health and well-being centre for the whole community"

How long will it take before the new centre is open for use?

This project is due for completion in 2013.

Who will be able to use the leisure facility?

The centre will be open to everyone, and fully accessible to people with disabilities.

What will be in the new centre?

There will be a range of facilities - including a new hydrotherapy pool, gym, dance studio, sports hall and weights area and a climbing wall. There will also be an outside, all weather pitch.

There will be a GP surgery on site (Tividale Family Practice).

The front of the building will also have a café, meeting rooms and an information point.

Will the building be easy to access for people with disabilities?

The building will be ‘Disability Discrimination Act’ compliant – and will have ramp access.

There will also be low-level light switches in the rooms and wheelchair-friendly changing rooms.

Sandwell Council has paid an architect with a special interest in disability to advise on how the building is designed.

Will transport be provided to people who have disabilities to get to and from the centre?

The site is on a number of bus routes.

However, for people with complex disabilities, we will consider how we can support access nearer to our opening.

Who is paying for this centre to be built, and who will be in charge?

Sandwell Council has received money from the Department of Health through a ‘Private Finance Initiative’. This will pay for the leisure services in the building. The Primary Care Trust and the GP will pay for the health services provided.

Sandwell Leisure Trust will manage the leisure area within the centre. The GP will manage the surgery, and Sandwell Council staff will help people with disabilities to use the facilities and services.

Why are you putting a GP in a leisure centre?

Some patients will be referred to use the leisure facilities to improve their health. Patients who have been assessed by the PCT or Adult Services with mobility problems will be able to use the hydrotherapy pool, with physiotherapists on site to support them.

Why are you moving this GP? I have used Tividale Family Practice for years!

The surgery is currently based at 51A New Birmingham Road, Tividale. This is an old building, which is difficult to do any work on. There are not many parking spaces, either. The new centre will be a modern building with lots of space and will allow the surgery to offer more services.

So, what will happen to Oldbury Leisure Centre?

The old centre and all the other buildings on the site will be knocked down.

Don't you need planning permission to do this?

Yes! Outline planning permission was granted on March 7, 2007, at the Council’s Planning Committee.

Are you asking people what they think about these plans, before Oldbury leisure centre is knocked down?

In early 2006, we carried out a full round of consultation, followed with a number of information days at Oldbury Leisure Centre in June 2008.

Will there be new jobs created within this new Centre?

There may be some opportunities for builders and for centre staff. It is a bit early to say for sure at this stage, though.

How much will it cost to use the new centre?

The Centre will be consistent with charging policies, where Sandwell Leisure Trust operates within the Borough.

Concessionary charges will be consistent with the other centres and will include access via GP/Health referrals.

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