Design of Birmingham’s Olympic swimming pool revealed

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These are the first architect’s images of Birmingham new £58 million Olympic standard swimming pool, water park and leisure centre.

The centre, to be built on St Vincent Street, near the National Indoor Arena, will include a 50 metre pool to be completed in time to welcome international athletes preparing for the 2012 London Olympics.

Also included in the massive complex will be an Olympic standard diving pool, leisure pool including rides and attractions, a teaching pool, large gym, saunas, steam rooms, climbing wall, sports hall and five-a-side football pitches.

A cafe, community meeting rooms, play area, creche and police room are also part of the state-of-the-art centre.

Council leisure bosses will today open an exhibition of the plans at the neighbouring Nelson Primary School, allowing the local community and wider public to have their say before the proposals are confirmed.

Birmingham’s new cabinet member for leisure, sports and culture Martin Mullaney has previously criticised the plans and urged further investment in community pools like the Moseley Road Baths in Balsall Heath.

Architect design of the olympic swimming pool for Birmingham.

But today he stressed the new complex would serve the local community as much as the elite sports men and woman.

He said: “One of our biggest challenges is to increase sports participation in Birmingham and this development forms a major element of our city-wide sports facilities strategy.

“There is currently no facility for swimming in the Ladywood constituency and this would resolve that issue while at the same time providing a world class facility for the whole of the city.

“We’re looking to provide the people of this city the top-class sports facilities they deserve.

“This consultation is all part of the pre-planning stage for the project and it’s essential we hear the views of as many people as possible.”

Birmingham and the West Midlands, have been criticised when it emerged that paralympic swimming gold medallist Ellie Simmonds, from Walsall, had to move to Swansea to be able to use an Olympic standard pool.

Speaking on a recent visit to Birmingham, Olympic champion triple jumper Jonathan Edwards said: “Our sporting facilities are poor given how well we perform on the international stage.

“It’s not right that this region doesn’t have the facilities for Ellie Simmonds to train, but that shows we do need to work on our sporting infrastructure.”

If full council planning permission is given and the council cabinet approves the complex then building work could begin as early as October and complete in time for the Olympic games.

First though, local residents are being asked for their views on the draft proposals and the consultation exercise will inform and influence the planning application, due to be submitted later this summer.

The plans will be on display to the public this week at Nelson Primary School on King Edwards Road, between 4pm and 8pm on Thursday and Friday, between 10am and 2pm on Saturday.

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