Birmingham’s oldest working swimming pool re-opens

Woodcock Swimming Pool

09 December 2011

Birmingham’s oldest working swimming pool has now reopened to the public, following a multi-million pound refurbishment.

The pool at the Doug Ellis Woodcock Sports Centre at Aston University was originally constructed in 1902. Following extensive renovations, the Grade II listed pool has been brought up to date and is now accompanied by a new steam and sauna room and additional changing facilities. The original cubicles have been retained as a historical feature of this listed building.

The 25 metre swimming pool has been refurbished as part of a £5M project to reconfigure Aston’s Sports Centre and enable the centre to provide high quality facilities for centre users. The centre is available to the community as well as students and staff attracts around 280,000 visits per year.

The historic pool has featured in the book Great Lengths by Dr Ian Gordon and Simon Inglis, and is recognised as one of the oldest indoor swimming pools in Britain.

The swimming pool offers a range of classes to support people of all ages who wish to learn to swim. It also has women’s only swim sessions, which feature a thirty-minute aqua aerobics class.

Mike Kirkman, Head of Sport Aston, said; “The swimming pool is an integral part of what makes the Doug Ellis Woodcock Sports Centre such a great asset to the community.

By investing also in a new two storey extension, Sport Aston can now offer a wide range of dance, yoga and aerobic classes and more opportunities for female participation which is important for Aston's multi-cultural population as these facilities are greatly needed.

“The refurbishment has enabled us to create a wonderful facility which will be enjoyed for many generations to come and we are delighted to have been able to do this.”

Also incorporated into the refurbished centre is a new 110 station state of the art Gym as well as an upgraded sports hall with spectator facilities which is available for hire for tournaments, special events and recreational Badminton.

For further details contact Kreesha Pattani, University Communications on 0121 204 4552 or k.pattani1@aston.ac.uk