Birmingham & Black Country

'Olympic legacy' pool is to open in Birmingham

Swimming lesson - generic image Image copyright PA
Image caption Sparkhill's current pool has been closed since 2009

One of nine Olympic legacy swimming pools is to open in Birmingham, the city council has said.

The 25m (82ft) pool, which is to open in Sparkhill, is one of the training pools from the Olympic Park used at the London 2012 Games.

A pool in Sparkhill has been closed since 2009.

Sport England said it was looking for new locations across the country for some of the other London 2012 pools which have been dismantled.

One opened in Bridlington in January.

Installation of the Sparkhill pool, to take place at a later date, was part of proposals for a new Sparkhill Pool and Fitness Centre approved by Birmingham City Council's cabinet on Monday.

'No 50m pool'

Deputy leader Ian Ward said its successful bid for one of the pools from 2012 meant it would "soon have the chance to literally immerse ourselves in the Olympic legacy".

The council announced in 2008 it would build a 50m (164ft) Olympic-size pool behind the NIA in Ladywood at a cost of £60m, but in 2009 it said it no longer had the funds.

In 2010 the authority said a 50m pool had full planning permission and it was "working very hard to find the finance for that in these difficult times".

The same year, Commonwealth gold medallist Adam Ruckwood quit as Birmingham's chief swimming coach in frustration at the lack of a new Olympic-size pool.

Paralympian Ellie Simmonds moved from Walsall with her mother to Swansea at the age of 11 so she could train in a 50m pool.

Birmingham City Council has not commented on plans for a 50m pool.

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