Contract award follows Wates’ appointment in spring 2019 to deliver pre-construction works for the world-class leisure facility.

Wates Construction has been confirmed as the main contractor for the new Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Smethwick.

The state-of-the-art facility will create a lasting legacy for community health and wellbeing with its 50m Olympic-sized swimming pool as well as a 25m diving pool, community swimming pool and seats for up to 1,000 spectators.

Wates has also made a commitment to local spend and job creation, including supporting its supply chain in taking on apprentices and helping them transfer into permanent positions upon completion. The company will also engage with local schools to deliver work experience placements on site, encouraging diverse demographics into an industry combating growing skills shortages.

John Carlin, Regional Managing Director for Wates Construction Midlands, said it was an honour to be part of this exciting regeneration story:

“Here in the West Midlands we’re currently experiencing a tremendous renaissance in our local infrastructure. This project – and the wider regeneration of the borough of Sandwell – will create a lasting legacy for local residents and put Sandwell on the map for its world-class facility.

Every project we deliver has the community at its heart and we’re looking forward to working alongside our partners to ensure this project provides significant economic and social value from the outset. The result will be a landmark facility that will be transformational for this borough.

We’re pleased to sign the formal contract confirming our position as main contractor and now have two years of a challenging but hugely exciting build ahead of us.”

Ground breaking took place in September 2019 to prepare the site for construction and the initial building work on the £73m project is set to complete in spring 2022 with final handover to Sandwell Council in May 2023 when the building will be open to the public.

Other facilities at the aquatics centre will include three activity studios, two 4-court sports halls, a 108-station fitness suite with a 25-station ladies-only gym, dry diving facilities, an indoor cycling studio, a new football pitch, a café and changing facilities including a sauna/steam room. Externally, a new urban park will feature a children’s play area.

Councillor Maria Crompton, cabinet member for Sandwell Council with the responsibility for leisure added:

“We’re excited that the main building work on this landmark leisure centre has started. The aquatics centre will give us an international-standard venue for the local community, replacing ageing leisure facilities with a modern hub designed to promote health and wellbeing across the district.”

Wates, which was appointed via Major Works – UK, part of the Scape National Construction framework, is based just four miles away in Quinton and is already using its role on the project to provide significant economic and social benefits to Sandwell’s businesses and residents.

The contractor is also currently completing delivery of a £32.8m leisure centre in Braywick, Berkshire, including a 10-lane swimming pool, splash pools and employing an eco-friendly approach that will see the centre use 70% less energy than its predecessor.

Notes to Editors

Wates Construction

Wates Construction has a long track record of providing more for less to its clients across both the public and private sectors. Working on projects across a variety of different areas, including education, commercial, heritage, local authority frameworks and mixed-use, Wates Construction specialises in maximising value by finding the most intelligent and creative ways to deliver outstanding buildings.

About Wates Group

The Wates Group, established in 1897, is one of the leading privately-owned construction, development and property services businesses in the UK. We employ approximately 4,000 people and together, we inspire better ways of creating the places, communities and businesses of tomorrow.

The Group generated turnover of £1.60bn in 2018. Wates was named Construction News’ Contractor of the Year in 2017; Building Magazine’s Major Contractor of the Year in 2016 and was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development for the second time in 2016. Wates was the first large contractor ever to be awarded Business in the Community’s Community Mark and in 2013 was awarded the inaugural National Business Award for Corporate Citizenship in recognition of our leadership and excellence in community investment. In 2017 Wates was named Organisation of the Year at the inaugural UK Social Mobility Awards. Wates is an Investors in People Gold accredited company.

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