Sandwell Council makes waves with new partnership

Computer generated image of the Sandwell Aquatics Centre swimming pool with international flags hanging at one end and an audience on two sides of the poolWolverhampton University has signed up as the exclusive higher education partner in Smethwick’s state-of-the-art Sandwell Aquatics Centre.

Sandwell Council has signed a ten-year agreement with the university, giving sports students access to the facility for studying and training from 2023. The university will also be involved in workforce and skills development, as well as legacy plans for the centre.

The world-class venue is being built to host the swimming and diving events in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, and Wolverhampton University is already one of the sponsors. The £73m project will be completed in spring 2022 and, after hosting the Games, will open to the public in May 2023.

As well as three swimming pools, the centre will also include activity studios, sports halls, gyms, a cycling studio, a dry diving centre, a sauna, a football pitch, an urban park, a children’s play area and a cafe.

Dr Richard Medcalf, director of the university’s Institute for Human Sciences, said: “This partnership … will transform our provision in swimming and diving. … We look forward to working with the council and other venue stakeholders to bring to life the exciting plans which they have for sport in the region.”

Councillor Maria Crompton, Deputy Leader for Sandwell Council, said: “We are looking forward to developing a swimming and diving programme that will inspire students to get involved in sports across the region – and to hopefully work toward competing at an international level.”

Think Sandwell wishes Wolverhampton University and its students all the best for their ongoing relationship with our world-class local facility. To find out what opportunities we could offer your organisation, visit our Business Services pages.