Page last updated at 09:50 GMT, Thursday, 17 April 2008 10:50 UK

Celebrations mark 'Olympic' pool

Sunderland Aquatic Centre
The 20m complex boasts a 50m pool

Celebrations are being held to mark the opening of a multi-million pound swimming facility on Wearside.

The Sunderland Aquatic Centre, next to the city's Stadium of Light, boasts an Olympic-size pool with 10 lanes.

The 20m complex opens on Friday, but an event including fireworks, light shows, theatre and dance will be held on the site on Thursday night.

It is hoped that the 50m pool, the only one in north-east England, will be used as an Olympic training site.

Sunderland City Council leader Bob Symonds said the centre was "the best facility of its kind in the UK".

The complex has been funded by Sunderland City Council, Sport England, the European Regional Development Fund, One NorthEast, the TyneWear Partnership, Sunderland Arc and the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund.


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