£60m centre will be a big legacy, not a white elephant
A £60 MILLION aquatics centre set to be built in Sandwell for the Commonwealth Games ‘will not be a white elephant’, an MP insisted.
Dame Caroline Spelman said: “I had responsibility as Environment Secretary for the sustainability of the Olympic Games in 2012, and one of the important questions you have to be able to answer when it comes to the sustainability of a sporting event is will those facilities be sustainable in the future.
“Sustainability is a threepronged concept. It’s economic, environmental and social.”
She believed the new centre would have a lasting benefit for the community.
“You won’t get a white elephant,” she said. “You will get a great legacy in Sandwell.”
In January, Sandwell Council leader Steve Eling announced plans for Sandwell to build the aquatics centre to host swimming and diving at the Birmingham 2022 Games.
The 5,000-seater venue will include an Olympic-sized competition pool, a 25m diving pool, two activity studios, a 12-court sports hall, a 125-station gym, a 25-station women-only gym, an indoor cycling studio, a sauna/steam room and a cafe.
It will be turned into a leisure centre after the Games for the people of Sandwell, with a public consultation ongoing about which facilities will be provided.
The £60 million cost has raised some eyebrows since its announcement, with some commenting that it risked becoming a ‘white elephant’ post-Games.