Venue in Smethwick will host swimming and diving competitions in 2022

Wates has reached a significant point in the construction of Sandwell Aquatics Centre, in Smethwick, which will host the swimming and diving at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Billington has begun structural steelwork at the £73m facility with the first three roof trusses and main frame now erected. By the end of the year, 14 trusses will have been installed,  each spanning 75m and weighing around 30 tonnes.

It marks the first stage of the centre taking form above-ground. The Wates team has spent the summer creating the 50m pool – the only one of its size in the Midlands – as well as a 25m diving pool and community swimming pool. 

Other facilities at the aquatics centre will include three activity studios, two four-court sports halls, a fitness suite with a 25-station ladies-only gym, dry diving facilities, an indoor cycling studio, a football pitch, a cafe, and changing facilities including a sauna and steam room.

With the frame in place, the team will now start work creating the walls and roof of the building. The installation of the 10m dive tower will also be completed before Christmas.

Other firms working on the scheme include concrete contractor Morrisroe and cladding and roofing firm Metclad.

Wates was appointed via the Scape major works framework. Construction started on site in September 2019, with Wates working closely with Sandwell council and its supply chain to ensure work continued safely during the national lockdown earlier this year.

The project is still on schedule and set to complete in spring 2022. The facility will open to the public in the spring of 2023.