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Uni dives into new partnership with Sandwell Council

Students at the University of Wolverhampton are set to benefit from a new partnership with Sandwell Council centred around the new Sandwell Aquatics Centre.

Work is now under way on the Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Smethwick which will provide a world-class leisure facility for residents in Sandwell for decades to come.

The University is one of the sponsors of the aquatics centre and has signed a long-term agreement with the council to maximise opportunities for staff and students.

As the exclusive higher education partner, the University will work with the Council on legacy plans as well as workforce development and skills.

Sports students will study and train within the state-of-the-art aquatics centre as part of their curriculum through the 10-year agreement, which will start in 2023.

Dr Richard Medcalf, Director of the University’s Institute for Human Sciences, said:

“This partnership between the University and Sandwell Council will transform our provision in swimming and diving. Our students will now benefit from a world-class sporting venue in the heart of the Black Country; we will teach aspects of our Physical Education and School Sport degree from the pool spaces, and the centre will become the home venue for anyone representing the University through WLV Sport. We look forward to working with the Council and other venue stakeholders to bring to life the exciting plans which they have for sport in the region.”

Councillor Maria Crompton, Deputy Leader for Sandwell Council, said:

“We are very excited for this partnership with the University of Wolverhampton and we are looking forward to developing a swimming and diving programme that will inspire students to get involved in sports across the region and to hopefully work toward competing at an international level.”

Councillor Danny Millard, cabinet member for skills and employment said:

“Giving young people the chance to experience the working environment of this new facility is a unique opportunity and a really exciting prospect for the students that will be involved. The Council is delighted that the University of Wolverhampton will have a presence in the borough through the Sandwell Aquatics Centre.”

Ash Rai, chief executive of Sandwell Leisure Trust (SLT), said:

“SLT is delighted to work in partnership with the University to develop and grow local employment opportunities and professional development for the leisure sector. This world class facility will provide the perfect leisure environment to gain experience and obtain keys skills for a career in leisure.”

The new centre in Smethwick will be run by Sandwell Leisure Trust (SLT) and work on the project is set to be completed in spring 2022.

The building will be officially opened for use by the public in May 2023.

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.

For more information about studying sport at the University, visit: or find out more about virtual events and open days:

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