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Lichfield MP ‘delighted’ by Friarsgate reassurances

An artist's impression of the Friarsgate development

An artist's impression of the Friarsgate development

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has admitted he is relieved that the Friarsgate development will still go ahead, despie the withdrawal of £4million of funding.

As The Lichfield Blog exclusively revealed last week, Advantage West Midlands dropped plans to support the redevelopment of Lichfield city centre.

The decision came after a review of projects by the regional funding agency – a move which saw Mr Fabricant fearing for the future of the Friarsgate scheme.

But Lichfield District Council Leader Councillor David Smith has reassured the city’s MP that the project is still viable – reassurance which has clearly pleased Mr Fabricant.

However, the Conservative MP has called on the Council to ensure any Friarsgate development is in-keeping with the character of Lichfield. He said:

“I am delighted and relieved to hear that the Friarsgate development will still be going full steam ahead.  Lichfield has been crying out for additional shopping facilities, extra hotel rooms, and a decent cinema for some time.

“It is important, however, that the finish and design of the Friarsgate centre are not in sharp contrast to the historic nature of our Cathedral City.  I have seen developments outside Lichfield which are in keeping with their historic towns and cities and I will continue to liaise with the Leader of Lichfield District Council to try and ensure that this will be the case in Lichfield too. 

“I share the concern of many constituents who have told me that the visualisations they have seen showing stark while concrete walls is wholly inappropriate for Lichfield.  I understand changes have now been made better to reflect this and I suggest that the Council now publish updated visualisations to put local people’s mind at rest.”

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