The Manchester Aquatics Centre
is a public aquatics
sports facility south of the center of Manchester
, north of the main buildings of University of Manchester
, and near the Manchester Metropolitan University
. It was purpose–built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games
, and cost £32 million to build. It is jointly owned by the Manchester City Council
, the University of Manchester
and the Manchester Metropolitan University
.The centre is the home of the City of Manchester Aquatics Swim Team, as well as Disability Swimming and Water Polo athletes within the English Institute of Sport
. Before it was built, for many years its site was open waste ground left by demolishing inner-city industrial terrace houses
The building was designed by Faulkner Brown. Construction started in August 1996, and was completed in February 1997, with finishing touches made in September 2001. It was opened on 12 October 2000 by Queen Elizabeth II.
The centre's facilities include:
- Two 50 m swimming pools,, each able to be split into sections of varying dimensions and depths with the help of moveable floors and booms. In fact, the centre has the world's largest area of movable floors and booms in a swimming facility.
- The "main pool" on the ground floor is 50 m by 25 m with a maximum depth of 2 m. Two sunken booms and two moveable floor sections can separate the pool into a 23 m by 20 m with constant depth between floor level and 2 m depth; and a 25 m by 20 m section at 2 m depth, which in turn can be separated by the second sunken boom to allow a section of 10 m by 20 m with varying depth. 1,000 permanent spectator seats overlook the main pool hall.
- The "training pool" is located in the basement and is 16 m by 50 m in size, with a constant depth of 1.8 m. A traversable boom allows separation into two 25 m length pools, one of which can be varied in depth from floor level to 1.8 m. The training pool's ceiling is in the shape of two long waves representing waves on water.
- A 25 m diving pool with movable floor to allow a maximum depth of 5.1 m. The pool is often also used for water polo,, and scuba diving training.
- A "leisure pool" - a shallow water area suitable for younger pool users incorporating two water flumes and two bubble pools.
- Workout and fitness studios, a health suite including sauna and steam rooms, and sunbeds.
- Poolside cafe.