A new aquatics centre would be used if Birmingham was to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games ©Birmingham 2022

Birmingham 2022 have unveiled three more venues that will be used if the city's bid to host the Commonwealth Games in five years' time is successful.

The news follows a visit from the Commonwealth Games Delivery Unit and Commonwealth Games England (CGE) earlier this week.

It is claimed the wider West Midlands region will benefit from Birmingham 2022 with venues in Sandwell and Coventry announced.

The new-build Sandwell Aquatics Centre would host swimming, Para-swimming and diving and would be the only new facility for Birmingham 2022.

Plans for the aquatics centre are already underway, following a public consultation and Cabinet report by Sandwell Council in Spring 2017, which identified the need for competitive swimming facilities within the Borough as a priority. 

Initially proposed as a leisure complex comprising a 50 metres pool and community leisure facilities, a Commonwealth Games in the region would see the Sandwell Aquatics Centre plans upgraded to include a warm-up pool and competition diving pool with a moveable floor.

Diving is an optional sport within the Commonwealth Games sports roster, but has been included by the 2022 bid.

Scheduled to be operational in 2021, permanent poolside spectator seating for up to 1,000 will also be a venue legacy, with a further 4,000 seats installed on a temporary basis during the Games.

It was also announced today that the Ericsson Indoor Arena in Coventry, located around 20 miles from Birmingham, would host netball competition.

The venue forms part of the Ricoh Arena and is home to Wasps Netball, winners of the Vitality Netball Superleague in their debut season.

All Birmingham 2022 netball fixtures, including preliminaries and finals will be held in the Arena, with 5,000 temporary seats installed for the Games.

The Ericsson Indoor Arena would host netball competition ©Birmingham 2022
The Ericsson Indoor Arena would host netball competition ©Birmingham 2022

Villa Park, one of England's most famous football stadiums, was also announced as a potential venue and would play host to rugby sevens.

It is the home of former European Cup winners Aston Villa, whose ground dates back to 1897 and was used during the 1966 FIFA World Cup and Euro 1996. 

The stadium has hosted several sports other than football, including rugby.

It staged two matches during the 2015 Rugby World Cup, with South Africa beating Samoa and Australia defeating Uruguay in pool matches there.

“We looked long and hard at the existing international standard venues within the region and are proud to have developed a bid that offers a compact Games with 95 per cent of venues already available," said Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council and leader of the city's Commonwealth Games bid.

"We could not have done that without the support of Ricoh Arena, which is on our doorstep. 

“Combined with the new Sandwell Aquatics Centre, which is an important sports and community investment and our only proposed new-build facility and Villa Park, which has recently hosted Rugby World Cup fixtures, these West Midlands venues will ensure that the benefits of a Birmingham 2022 Games will reach far and wide.”

Birmingham, along with Liverpool, are one of two cities in England who have confirmed they want to replace Durban, stripped of the Commonwealth Games in March after they failed to satisfy financial guarantees.

The inspectors had visited Liverpool last week where they were met by former England footballer Jamie Carragher. 

The Government and CGE are expected to announce next month whether they will put forward Birmingham or Liverpool as their preferred bidder to replace Durban.

Besides the two English cities, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Victoria in Canada and Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia have expressed an interest in hosting the Games.