Sandwell 50th celebration logo

1974

Sandwell is born

Borough is created on 1 April after the Warley and West Bromwich County boroughs merge together

1977

A royal visit

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip (Duke of Edinburgh) visit Sandwell as part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations

1978

Time to celebrate!

Sandwell Festival is held

1981

Snooker comes to Sandwell

English Professional Championship (snooker) held at Haden Hill Leisure Centre

1985

Providing more for you

Sandwell becomes a unitary authority after the Local Government Act is passed

1986

Better connected

The first phase of the Black Country Route opens

1988

Black Country Route 2.0

The second phase of the Black Country Route opens

1989

A new beginning

The council moves into its new premises in Freeth Street, Oldbury

1990

Out of the ashes

The council opens Haden Hill House to the public for the first time since the devastating fire of 1977

1993

A new look for Tipton

Tipton City Challenge launched, regeneration of Tipton with a 5-year scheme (under Clive Dutton)

1994

The Queen’s standard

Queen Elizabeth II visits Sandwell to view work of Tipton Challenge Partnership (part of wider BC tour)

1995

Opening a new route

The Black Country Route opens fully

2000

Happy new year!

Millennium marked across Sandwell

2002

Boing Boing!

West Bromwich FC reached the premier league for the first time

2004

Stars recognised in Sandwell

Cyrille Regis, Frank Skinner, and Julie Walters are awarded Freedom of Sandwell

2006

Shri Venkateshwara (Balaji) Hindu Temple

Shri Venkateshwara (Balaji) Hindu Temple is opened, one of largest functioning Hindu temples in Europe

2007

Madeleine Carroll

Statue commemorating Madeleine Carroll (Hollywood actress born in West Bromwich) partly funded by SMBC and unveiled by Cllr Bill Thomas (Leader)

2010

Sandwell’s restoration continues

Ownership of Lightwoods House and Gardens transferred to Sandwell Council – restored with Heritage Lottery’s Park for the People bid money

2011

Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Josie Lawrence is awarded the Freedom of Sandwell

2012

Thank you Blind Dave

Dave Heeley awarded Freedom of Sandwell

2012

History passes through Sandwell

the Olympic Games are held in London – the Olympic Torch passes through Sandwell

2012

A supreme school visit

Prince Philip visits Tipton to open Summerhill Primary School and the RSA Academy

2012

More opportunities for all

Sandwell College’s Central Campus is opened, part of West Bromwich regeneration project

2012

Forging the way for women

Mary Macarthur statue unveiled in Cradley Heath (partly funded by the council)

2013

Portway Lifestyle Centre

Portway Leisure Centre opens, joint venture between Sandwell Council, SLT, SPCT, and Sandwell Liftco – a centre of excellence for people with disabilities)

2014

Sandwell’s 2 time gold winner

Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow. Oldbury-born Jodie Stimpson wins 2 golds in triathlon. Oldbury renamed Goldbury unofficially in her honour – bus stop sprayed gold, road signs renamed, TC sports celebration.

2017

Lightwoods House

Lightwoods House reopens to public

2018

Lest we forget

‘Lions of the Great War’ statue is unveiled in Smethwick High Street

2019

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The Celebration Statue

The Celebration Statue is unveiled (to three pioneering black WBA players, Cyrille Regis, Brendon Batson, and Laurie Cunningham

2020

A fifth time celebration!

West Bromwich Albion is promoted to Premier League (also 2002, 2004, 2007, and 2010)

2020-2021

Covid-19

The community responds to the COVID-19 epidemic.

2022

Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games are hosted in Birmingham, with Sandwell providing some of the venues (SAC), Queen’s Baton Relay passed through Sandwell, SAC visited by William and Kate

2022

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend

Celebration of Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend

2022

The Queen’s passing

People of Sandwell mark the Queen’s passing with book of condolence and flower tributes

2023

Kings Coronation

Sandwell community marks King’s Coronation with events at Sandwell Valley Park – Big Picnic Lunch, King’s Coronation Screen, The Big Help Out (volunteering initiative)

2023

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Reaching new heights

Central St Michael’s Sixth Form College opened

2023

The Green Flag Award

Sandwell’s parks and green spaces win a record-breaking 15 Green Flags

2024

50 years

Happy Birthday Sandwell

Sandwell turns 50!

Next steps:

2024

Midland Met Hospital

2025

Midland Met Learning Campus

2026

Haden Hill Leisure Centre

2027

Brandhall Village

2031

Friar Park Urban Village – pioneering use of brownfield land