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163,000 tiles have now been laid at the sandwell Aquatics Centre

▲ Image: 163,000 tiles have now been laid at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre.

The latest progress on the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, the only brand new venue for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, was unveiled today, with the competition and diving pools now completely tiled, the moveable floor now 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 29 July to 3 August and the diving competition from 4 August to 8 August, meaning that the centre will be in use for all 11 days of competition at Birmingham 2022.

▲ Image: Sarah Barrow, Diving silver medallist at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Sarah Barrow, a Team England diving silver medallist at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and now Swim England’s Diving Development Officer for the West Midlands region, visited the aquatics centre for the first time since February 2020 and was very impressed with how the venue is taking shape. “The progress that has been made on the centre is phenomenal, it will be an incredible venue for the Commonwealth Games and I know the swimmers and divers will be excited that they get to compete in the only brand new venue that will be used at Birmingham 2022.

“However, this facility is about so much more than those eleven days of sport next summer, as the Sandwell Aquatics Centre will be a crucial hub for diving in this region and I can’t wait to see young divers from across the West Midlands using these fantastic facilities.”

▲ Image: Ian Reid, CEO of Birmingham 2022, in front of the dive tower at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre.

Ian Reid, Chief Executive of Birmingham 2022, said: “It is wonderful to see the latest developments at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre. 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 benefiting 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: “It’s incredibly exciting to be here today celebrating the completion of more major construction milestones at the spectacular aquatics centre in Smethwick. 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.

“At Sandwell we are incredibly excited and proud to be hosting the swimming and diving events for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The centre will be used by local people after the Games and will serve the community and wider region for decades to come.”

Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport and Tourism said: “Significant progress has been made at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre since I was privileged to lay the pool’s first tile in June. This public investment will provide a first-class facility that will serve local people for generations to come, long after the Games.

“I look forward to seeing how the centre becomes not only a community hub for swimming, but gives Birmingham and the West Midlands world-class facilities and training opportunities to help nurture the next generation of diving champions.”

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