Plans to build an Olympic swimming pool in Birmingham will be officially revealed this week.
The 50-metre pool, which is earmarked for a site next to National Indoor Arena, will be part of a network of new facilities for the city.
The new centre, which will be built off St Vincent Street, between Nelson Primary School and the NIA, will prove a major boost for the city’s bid to host Olympic teams as they train before the 2012 games in London.
However, the council failed to identify how it would fund the £60.5 million pool or how it would pay for running costs. In a report to be discussed at a cabinet meeting on Monday, only £30.5 million of capital resources has been identified to contribute towards the proposal.
Senior Conservative councillor John Alden, chairman of the leisure, sport and culture scrutiny committee, said on Wednesday he knew nothing about the plans, how much the pool would cost and how it would be funded.
He told the Birmingham Post he would have to attend the cabinet meeting on Monday to find out more.
Phase one of the swimming pool provision strategy will be considered at the cabinet meeting, where councillors will also propose to improve existing swimming facilities across the city.
Plans will include replacing Harborne Pool with a new facility and the refurbishment of Stechford Cascades.
Council leader Mike Whitby said: “Birmingham is recognised as a world class city for sport, and it is imperative that we continue to evolve and offer modern, high-quality facilities of a world class and Olympic standard.
“At the heart of this new sports strategy is a new 50m pool complex to be located in the city centre, with a specification and capacity to host some of the biggest international events. It is not simply a resource to attract Olympic teams prior to 2012 but will also provide the citizens of Birmingham the facilities they deserve."
The city centre site for the pool was earmarked following a feasibility study carried out earlier this year.
The complex will incorporate a 50m, 10-lane pool with a movable floor and boom, an international diving tank, a major leisure water facility and significant indoor dry sport facilities, including fitness equipment, climbing wall and dance studio.
Scheduled for completion in early 2012 it is hoped the new facility will be used as a training facility by visiting athletes for the Olympic Games later that year.
A new centre will be built on the existing Harborne Pool site and will include a 25m x six-lane pool, teaching pool, dance studio, fitness suite, junior fitness suite, changing rooms and spectator seating.
The plans form part of a sports facility strategy, which has been commissioned in partnership with Sport England, to initially consider swimming pool provision.
Ray Hassall, cabinet member for leisure, sport and culture, said Birmingham was capable of hosting athletes from as many as nine countries for the 2012 Olympics.
He said “parts of teams” could stay in the run-up to and during Britain’s first games in 60 years.
He said: “We can handle seven, eight or nine countries in Birmingham. We’ve got the facilities here. The word is on the street for all the countries that, if they want to come and locate here, they’re welcome.”
Coun Hassall (Lib Dem, Perry Barr) has confirmed the city was in talks with Jamaica - home to the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt about hosting its Olympic team.
Further information from media contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501