The Mayor of Sandwell, Councillor Richard Jones presented the keys to Joanna Rolfe, Venue General Manager on behalf of Birmingham 2022.
Built on time and within budget, this amazing facility will help put Sandwell on the map during the Commonwealth Games, it will also become an outstanding new leisure centre for the community.
The Sandwell Aquatics Centre is the only brand-new, purpose-built facility for Birmingham 2022. It will be one of the busiest at the Games with 11 days of swimming, Para-swimming and diving from Friday 29 July until Monday 8 August. With more than 60 medal events in total set to be held at the facility, it will be the stage for more medal moments than any other Birmingham 2022 venue.
It will be a fantastic facility during the Games but will also be one of the greatest legacies of Birmingham 2022 with local people and young, talented swimmers and divers benefiting from having a world-class facility on their doorstep.
This facility will enable Sandwell to continue its work to increase children's and young people’s physical activity. Sandwell already has the most active kids in the region and the fourth highest in the whole country. This has been achieved by working in partnership with community groups like the Albion Foundation, and also through our extensive free swimming programme.
The facility will be handed back to the council for public use from 2023 following a 10-month legacy construction phase after the Games are over, to establish more local leisure facilities for residents. This will make this one of the best community leisure facilities in the United Kingdom.
Leader of Sandwell Council, Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, said: “This is a day to celebrate Sandwell. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our construction partners, who worked diligently throughout the project and a global pandemic to complete this venue on time and on budget.
“The world’s eyes will be on Sandwell so I can’t wait to welcome talented athletes from across the Commonwealth and see what they can achieve in this fantastic new facility.
“The legacy the Games will leave us is not simply this state-of-the-art facility for local residents, but also hopefully the inspiration not just for the next generation of athletes, but perhaps all of us to be more physically active.”
Joanna Rolfe, Birmingham 2022’s Venue General Manager said: “The Sandwell Aquatics Centre is a fantastic facility, and we are delighted that it is part of our venue portfolio for the Commonwealth Games. Tickets for the aquatics events have been hugely popular and so we are expecting full crowds in this venue which means the swimmers, para swimmers and divers will experience an amazing atmosphere during the competition.
"We would like to thank Sandwell Council and their construction partners for all their hard work and support to ensure that this venue was finished on schedule and we now can’t wait for the Games to begin.”