The £19.8 million Aquatic Centre, the largest in the North East, is the fi rst phase of a development of sport and educational facilities for Sunderland. The 50 metre pool, together with its diving pool and Wellness Centre, is the only facility of its type between Leeds and Edinburgh. The building is on a site formerly occupied by a part of Sunderland’s past, the Monkwearmouth Colliery, and stands next to the Sunderland football stadium. It is designed to act as a regional hub for swimming events – performance swimming, diving, synchronised swimming and water polo – as well as attracting national and regional events to Sunderland; it will also act as a community pool, providing facilities for local schools and fostering young talent. The state-of-the-art Wellness Centre will, it is hoped, increase participation in exercise and, through support and learning, encourage the community to choose a healthy lifestyle.