Birmingham’s newest swimming pool and leisure centre has been officially opened by Olympic hurdler turned TV sports pundit Colin Jackson.
The £7.5 million Sparkhill Pool is the latest of five either being built or rebuilt around the city following a major overhaul of council leisure services four years ago.
It replaced the crumbling 1930s pool which was closed in 2008 and deemed beyond economic repair .
Colin Jackson said: “It’s an outstanding facility which is built for the community.”
The centre includes a 25 metre pool, a smaller learner pool, a gym, dance studio, community room, sauna and steam rooms and a cafe area and is being operated by Places for People Leisure, the firm which also runs Harborne Pool.
It is also run with filters and heating systems which were inherited from the London 2012 Olympics where they were used in training pools.
Speaking at the opening, council leader Ian Ward, who oversaw the revamp of leisure centres, said: “This new modern pool has been designed with the local community in mind and has facilities that meet local needs as well as having equipment directly from the London 2012 Olympics.
"This is very relevant in a year when Birmingham is bidding to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and it’s great to have former Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallist Colin Jackson here to celebrate this occasion with us.”
He also thanked members of the Save Our Swimming Group who continued to campaign for the centre while it was closed.
The pool was opened in June and since then has attracted 2,000 members and 97,000 visits - including school and swimming club users.
Also opened this summer has been the new pool in Erdington, operated by the B irmingham Community Leisure Trust (BCLT).
The BCLT is also behind the new pools being built at Stechford and Northfield and another planned at Ickneild Port Loop.
It has also refurbished Fox Hollies Leisure Centre; Cocks Moors Woods Leisure Centre; Beeches Leisure Centre and Wyndley Leisure Centre.
These pools were built following a £36 million Sport England donation to the city council and, although run on behalf of the council, are being operated at no cost to the local taxpayer.