14 February 2013,

Portway Lifestyle Centre topping out in Oldbury

(Front) Councillor Steve Eling, Sandwell Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for strategic resources with (L-R) Bill Munn, Best Practice Director,  Thomas Vale Construction; Ian Silvera, Relationship Manager at Sport England; Simon Murphy, Sandwell LIFTCo Chair; Richard Nugent, Non-executive director of Black Country Cluster of Primary Care Trusts; Andrew Dixon, Business Manager (Midlands) Community Health Partnerships; Paul Slater, Sandwell Leisure Trust Chief Executive.

A topping out ceremony has marked a major milestone in the development of an £18m leisure, health and wellbeing centre in Oldbury.

The Portway Lifestyle Centre is the result of a partnership between Sandwell Council, the Black Country Cluster of Primary Care Trusts, Sandwell Leisure Trust and Sandwell LIFTCo.

The centre will enable the people of Sandwell to have access to improved standards of healthcare and leisure facilities in a specially designed, fit for purpose building, including a four-court sports hall, a hydro-therapy pool for rehabilitation and other therapeutic purposes, a sensory room, a climbing wall, dance studio, fitness suite and a full-sized, all-weather pitch for senior, junior and 5-a-side football. In addition, a life trail for gentle exercise will be created for those requiring gentle exercise and reablement. There will also be a café and ample parking on-site.

The centre will also house a GP surgery, the Portway Family Practice, which will replace the Tividale Family Practice. The entire project was aided by £1.5 million awarded from Sport England from its Olympic legacy programme, Iconic Facilities.

The ceremony at the Portway Lifestyle Centre was led by Councillor Steve Eling, Sandwell Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for strategic resources, Richard Nugent, Black Country Cluster of Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) Non- Executive Director, and Simon Murphy, Sandwell LIFTCo Chair.

This project is a real example of the vision and commitment of public and private sector partners working together to deliver excellence for local communities.

Simon Murphy, Sandwell LIFTCo’s Chair, commented: “Sandwell LIFTCo is delighted to be delivering such an important scheme as it will have a positive impact on the health and quality of life of many thousands of people living in the borough.”

Dr Sarah Raper, Community Health Partnerships Senior Regional Director and Sandwell LIFTCo Board Member, said: “CHP’s overall aim is to create the highest quality primary and community estates that serve the needs of local communities and contributes towards improving people’s health and wellbeing. When it opens, the Portway Lifestyle Centre will certainly achieve that aim.”

The centre, which is being built by Thomas Vale Construction, is due to open to the public in September 2013.

Dr Arun Saini, partner at Tividale Family Practice, said: “The move to Portway affords us a great opportunity, not only to provide first class health facilities in a state-of-the art building, but also to offer our patients convenient access to facilities that can help them lead a healthier lifestyle. The combination of health and leisure in one building is a major advantage that will have an important impact on the health and wellbeing of local people.”