Work to clear and prepare the site of the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, which will host the swimming and diving events at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, will start in the next few weeks.

Planning permission for the £62 million, state-of-the-art facility, at Londonderry Playing Fields in Smethwick, was granted earlier this year and the major construction work on the site will begin by the end of the year as planned.

The preparatory work will include the removal of the children’s play equipment, demolition of the existing football changing rooms and work on the electricity and water supplies to the site. The children’s play area will be re-installed at Black Patch Park.

Councillor Maria Crompton, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for safer communities, said she was looking forward to seeing the aquatics centre begin to be developed.

“This is an exciting time for Sandwell and our residents,” she said.

“We want this new facility to really inspire people young and old to get involved in new sports and leisure activities, become more active and live healthier lifestyles.

“The centre will also leave an amazing legacy for Sandwell and will provide access to top-class sporting facilities for local people beyond the Commonwealth Games in 2022.”

Sandwell Aquatics Centre, when complete, will have a 50m Olympic-sized swimming pool, a 25m diving pool and a studio pool along with 1,000 permanent spectator seats. Additional, temporary seating will be added for the Games.

When the facility is open to the public, the local community will benefit from the installation of a new children’s play area, brand new football changing facilities, a new football pitch, an urban park as well as the following facilities:

  • More than 300 on-site car parking spaces
  • Three activity studios
  • Minimum 8-court sports hall
  • 108-station gym
  • 25-station ladies-only gym
  • Indoor cycling studio
  • Dry diving centre
  • Sauna/steam room and
  • Café