An artist's impression of the doomed Friarsgate development

The collapse of the Friarsgate project has been a long time coming, so LichfieldLive delved into our archives to chart the rise and ultimate full of the long-awaited redevelopment.

Use our interactive timeline below to travel through the last decade:


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

8 replies on “Interactive timeline reveals the rise and fall of the Friarsgate redevelopment in Lichfield”

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  1. Thanks Ross brings back many memories. To think I had all my own hair and teeth back then, but doesn’t time fly. The most surprising thing is that there has not been one meaningless photo opportunity surrounding this fiasco for Mr F to take advantage of since July 3rd 2009. Three elections and three PM’s later he’s still with us, who would have thought he’d last longer than my teeth and hair eh!

  2. Dear Councillor Wilcox

    I have watched the story of the Friarsgate fiasco develop over the last few years and have seen how, under your leadership, it has descended into a total farce. 

    Not only have you presided over the closure of local businesses as a result of your mismanagement, you have insisted on holding all your meetings on the subject away from the public eye. The same public who’s pockets you and your cohorts seem content to dip into to fund your now failed vanity project. 

    Between you all, you have so far cost the Lichfield District residents several millions of pounds and yet we still have nothing to show for it…Absolutely nothing.

    Without significant further investment we will see that area of Lichfield remain as a derelict pile of rubble for years to come. Any investment now will again come from the tax payers pockets. This at a time when your cabinet claimed they couldn’t afford to empty garden waste bins and when, in addition to that particular stealth tax, you increased our Council Tax precept by the maximum allowed whilst outsourcing our leisure centres and spending pocket change in Burntwood. 

    What other services will you destroy or demolish in your quest to throw good money after bad? I guess it must be all the easier to do when it isn’t actually your money you are spending. 

    Are you aware of the countless families in Lichfield District who rely on food banks? Are you aware of the choices being made between paying the electricity bill or paying the rent? Are you aware of the parents going without food to save for the approaching annual school uniform bill? Are you aware of the parents worried sick about paying for childcare in the imminent school holidays? Are you aware of the people homeless in our apparently affluent little city? 

    If the answer to any of those questions above is yes, then the real question is do you care? Your decisions so far suggest that you simply do not. All of these costs must be met by the same individuals who’s money you have thrown away on your Friarsgate farce. The same people struggling with the challenges above are the ones you are relying on to fill the Council coffers, the contents of which your cabinet then appear to squander on ill fated, ill conceived, mismanaged projects. 

    Your apparent determination to raid our pockets for years to come, as you continue with your Lichfield centric vanity projects suggests your judgement is flawed or you just don’t care about the consequences of your actions.

    I call on you now to resign your position before you do any more irreversible and unaffordable damage. Surely your conscience alone should be telling you that you have a moral duty to remove yourself from your position.

    Your continued presence is an insult to those of us who have to keep paying your bills and funding your expenses. 

    Please show that you have at least some conscience, do the decent thing and go!

    Yours in hope. 

    Robert Birch. 

  3. Nearly 3 years ago Mike Wilcox said it’s “now or never” and yet he persisted to try and push an infeasible, unnecessary and unwanted major redevelopment on Lichfield – to the tune of £7m (nearly £49m!) – while other parts of Lichfield (and Burntwood!) were neglected, services cut and council tax increased.

    What a waste. Time to resign, Mike.

  4. Dont underestimate the influence and power of the senior management team at lichfield DC . Whilst Tory cabinet is accountable , look deeper into the influence of officers who pushed for all reports to be kept out of public view. Also look deeper into the council solicitor whom was advising on this throughout the friarsgate proposal …

  5. Congratulations to Lichfield Live on reporting and investigating this on-going farce so well – journalism at its best.

    Now, how can we get our local politicians to display the same kind of professionalism…?

  6. Well done Ross. We all lived in hope back then but really it was a fiasco from the start, a disaster waiting to happen. Be a decent chap M W and resign.

  7. Isn’t it funny that the LDC cabinet are remaining silent and adopting a low profile? Anyone would think that if you close your eyes and put fingers in your ears then everything will be fine. Well Cllr Wilcox, many residents still want you to do the decent thing and resign. You and your cronies have misled the public with your comments over the years about Friarsgate. Thanks to Lichfield Live, you are shown to be failing in your duty as a Councillor to be open and honest with the electorate. You have hidden behind legislation to avoid displaying your incompetency. The electorate will have slightly more respect for you if you acknowledge your shortcomings and deficiencies as Leader and resign. Do it this weekend, I dare you!

    Citizens of Lichfield, let us picket the next Council meeting and express our anger at the shambles now known as Lichfield District Council.

  8. Let us not forget the omnishambles known as Friarsgate. Fabricant is doing his best to keep the heat off Wilcox and Co but we must remember to continue to exert pressure so this ruling group and make them realise they are accountable. Petition your Councillor to propose a vote of No Confidence in Wilcox….get him out of office. If they don’t then they can be at risk at the next election.

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