University of Birmingham 50m Pool
Opening of Birmingham University’s 50m pool and sports centre ‘delayed’
The opening of Birmingham University’s new £55m sports centre has been delayed for a fourth time, officials say.
The centre, on the corner of Bristol Road, has an Olympic-sized pool, gym and fitness suites for use by students, the public and elite athletes.
It was due to open in 2016 but the “complex nature of the project” has seen it put back to “the early part of next year,” the university said.
Members will be notified four weeks in advance of it opening.
‘The opening of the new sports centre at the University of Birmingham has regrettably been delayed further,” the university spokesperson said.
“We are focusing on ensuring the highest quality facilities and experience for our members and are doing everything we can to progress completion of the building so we can open as soon as possible.
It was feared the pool would become the only 50m pool in the Midlands, with one in Coventry scheduled to close.
However, Coventry councillors have since approved plans for a new Olympic-sized facility and sports village at the Alan Higgs Centre in the city.
The university has said it estimates the sports centre would cater for about 3,000 community and alumni members, as well as more casual users.
Speaking in 2014, when excavation of the pool was completed, Gary Humpage, head swim coach at the University, said the difference for elite athletes to use a 50m pool “cannot be stressed enough”.
Paralympian Ellie Simmonds relocated from Walsall with her mother to Swansea at the age of 11 so she could train in a 50m pool.