Watersports centre & cafe planned for Sandwell Valley Country Park as part of new masterplan

Sandwell Council has published a ‘masterplan’ to improve Sandwell Valley Country Park
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A ten-year vision to boost visitor numbers at Sandwell Valley has been revealed.

Sandwell Council has published a ‘masterplan’ to improve Sandwell Valley Country Park that includes a new pavilion, an improved visitor centre for weddings and events, a watersports centre, a history and heritage zone and a food education barn.

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Sandwell Council said the ten-year plan aims to increase visitors to Sandwell Valley to 200,000 a year and host more large-scale outdoor events. The draft plan recommends splitting Sandwell Valley into six ‘zones’ – with each promoted as a different ‘day out’ to visitors.

The work includes repairs to the park’s visitor centre, a new retractable roof for weddings and events and a bigger cafe and shop. A new watersports centre and cafe would replace the current building at Swan Pool and a new barn for food education would promote healthy eating and cooking for schools, families and parents in Sandwell.

But while the ‘masterplan’ includes plans to boost visitor numbers, there are no concrete plans to improve parking, roads or entrances and exits – with Sandwell Council saying “efforts should be made” to mark parking bays and improvements to traffic flow “should be explored.”

The plans recommend new signs and e-bike charge points for Dartmouth Park – but while highlighting that some areas of the park are “very dark” which creates hazards during events, a ‘permanent’ solution to replace temporary, and costly, floodlights would be “considered” rather than committed to.

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The park’s ‘tired’ pavilion would be given a facelift and the council said it intends to bid for government money to replace the old all-weather pitch with a new multi-use facility. Cycle hire would return to Sandwell Valley alongside e-bike charging points, according to the plan, and the mini golf course could also be improved or upgraded to an adventure golf course.

Sandwell Council is asking the public for its views on the ten-year plan with consultation open until January 29.

Sandwell Valley Country ParkSandwell Valley Country Park
Sandwell Valley Country Park

What has the council said about the masterplan?

Cllr Charn Singh Padda, cabinet member for leisure and tourism at Sandwell Council, said: “Sandwell Valley Country Park is one the jewels in Sandwell’s crown. 

“It is a place that many of us have been visiting for years for leisure, sport or just to relax and we want to make sure that it can be enjoyed by Sandwell residents for generations to come. 

“This is why we are asking everyone to let us know what they think of the improvements we are proposing.”

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