Construction firms are to be invited to bid for the right to carry out a multi-million pound makeover of Birmingham’s community swimming pools and leisure centres.
The city council wants to draw up a preferred list of companies to deliver a major overhaul of the city’s sporting facilities.
The first scheme involves a competitive tender process to build a new community swimming pool and leisure centre in Sparkhill, where the baths have been closed since the summer of 2008 after asbestos was discovered in the roof.
Swimmers were initially warned they faced a three-year wait until the Sparkhill pool could be re-built, but the new baths will not open until 2013.
Firms on the list will sign a Framework Agreement with the council, allowing them to compete against each other to deliver more than 20 leisure projects. The value to the Birmingham construction industry could be in excess of £100 million.
Leisure cabinet member Martin Mullaney believes competition will save the council money by driving down the cost of renewing sports facilities.
He is confident significant savings can be made from the original estimate of £13.5 million for the new Sparkhill baths in Stratford Road.
Coun Mullaney (Lib Dem Moseley & Kings Heath) said: “We hope the Sparkhill procurement process can lay the groundwork for any future community pool projects in Birmingham. If this report is approved it will represent another significant step forward for our ambitious swimming pool strategy.”
The new Sparkhill baths will consist of a 25 metre six lane pool with seats for 40 spectators, a learner pool, dance studio, fitness suite and a community room.
Other facilities earmarked for refurbishment include Erdington Pool, Moseley Road Pool, Beeches Pool and leisure centres at Fox Hollies, Handsworth, Nechells, Kingstanding, Stockland Green and Saltley.