A TOPPING out ceremony marked another milestone in the development of a £18 million health, leisure and well-being centre in Oldbury, writes Tom Lees.

Portway Lifestyle Centre is a result of a partnership between Sandwell Council, the PCT and Sandwell LIFT, aided by a £1.5 million awarded by Sports England from its Olympic legacy programme.

The hub, built by Thomas Vale Construction, is due to open in September 2013 and boasts: four sports halls, a hydro-therapy pool, a sensory room, dance studio, fitness suite and a full size five-a-side football pitch, a GP surgery, a cafe and on-site parking.

Structural work is complete at the Oldbury site and Sandwell Council’s deputy leader Councillor Steve Eling said: “The lifestyle centre will provide state-of-the-art leisure, health and social care facilities and be a major asset to people in Sandwell and the wider area.”

“It is a key part of the massive regeneration programme which has taken place in the borough in recent years and shows we can deliver even in tough economic times.”

Richard Nugent, lead independent committee member for Sandwell Primary Care Trust said: “The project demonstrates the close working partnership that has existed in Sandwell for many years between the NHS and the local authority, as we have joined forces to help improve the health of the borough’s residents.”

The centre is to be operated by the leisure trust and be the new home of the Tividale Family Practice.

Dr Arun Sauni, partner at the Tividale 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.”