Birmingham & Black Country

Wednesbury Leisure Centre fire: Extra £900,000 to be spent

Smoke damage at Wednesbury Leisure Centre Image copyright West Midlands Fire Service
Image caption The fire in July began in the rear section of the building and caused major damage

An extra £900,000 is to be spent on building a replacement leisure centre in West Midlands after it was badly damaged by fire, a council has said.

Preparatory work had started at Wednesbury Leisure Centre when the site was targeted by arsonists in July.

Sandwell Council intended to build the new £7m leisure centre around the shell of the old sports hall but said its structure had been severely damaged.

A new hall would now have to be built as part of the development, it said.

Deputy leader Steve Eling said about £700,000 would come from an insurance payout, with the council having to pay the extra £200,000.

"The final costs are still being finalised because although the hall structure was damaged the foundations weren't as badly affected," he said.

"We're still looking to see whether that base is still fine to build on."

Image copyright Sandwell Council
Image caption Preparatory work had begun on a replacement for the old Wednesbury Leisure Centre

He said work had restarted at the site in High Bullen but the opening of the new centre would be delayed by at least two months, until September 2015.

It will have a 25-metre pool, dance studios and a fitness suite.

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