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Olympic-size swimming pool for Birmingham at last

Olympic-size swimming pool for Birmingham at last

🕔30.Aug 2012

Birmingham will finally get an Olympic size swimming pool, putting paid to decades of false dawns.

But the sporting virility symbol won’t be provided by the city council.

The pool is to be part of a £175 million redevelopment of the Birmingham University campus in Edgbaston.

The council’s Planning Committee enthusiastically welcomed and approved the university’s proposals, which also include a new library, sports centre, running track and student accommodation.

At a length of 50 metres and with eight lanes the pool meets all of the Olympics authorities regulations and is expected to be used as a training centre for elite swimmers in the Midlands.

Sitting alongside recent expansion and improvements to the athletics track at Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr, the new pool, on the corner of Bristol Road and Edgbaston Road, will underline Birmingham’s growing reputation as Britain’s premier sporting city outside of London.

Birmingham University Director of Estates Ian Barker said the five-year investment programme “reinterprets founder Joseph Chamberlain’s vision for the estate for the 21st century and expanding the services to the local community.”

Birmingham City Council has made several attempts to secure an Olympic size swimming pool since the 1980s, but was never able to put the finance in place.

The council’s former Conservative-Liberal Democrat leadership obtained planning permission for an Aquatics and Leisure Centre, to include a pool, on land close to the National indoor Arena in Ladywood.

It’s thought the project is unlikely to be taken forward by the council’s Labour group, which took control of Birmingham in may this year.

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