Friary Grange Leisure Centre campaigners

The organiser of a petition to save Friary Grange Leisure Centre says councillors cannot ignore the strength of public opinion on the issue.

Friary Grange Leisure Centre campaigners

Lichfield District Council is expected to make a final decision on the future of the city’s last remaining public facility.

It had planned to confirm the April 2020 closure last month, but a public campaign has led to the local authority looking again at the options available.

A petition started by local businessman Matt Wilson has now seen more than 7,500 sign up to call for the centre to remain open.

“The response to the petition has been staggering,” he said.

“The strength of feeling from all parts of our community is overwhelmingly clear – people want Friary Grange to stay open.”

In addition to the online petition, Save Friary Grange campaigners are taking their message onto the streets of Lichfield, gathering signatures and talking to residents about the closure.

“Queuing up to sign the petition”

Mr Wilson added: “At Lichfield Grub Club outside the cathedral last week we had people queuing up to sign the petition.

“There are an awful lot of concerned and angry people who want the district council to hear their voice on this issue.”

A Facebook page has been set up by the Friary Grange Leisure Centre campaigners.

Caroline Fellows, who organised a public meeting when news of the closure first broke, said: “It’s vital that we keep up pressure on the council – if we don’t, they won’t listen to us.

“I would urge everyone who cares about the leisure centre to keep emailing their councillors and writing letters.”

Lichfield District Council’s leader has confirmed a bigger venue is being sought for a Cabinet meeting in October which is set to hear the debate over the future of the leisure centre.


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

3 replies on “Organiser says response to petition to save Friary Grange Leisure Centre has been “staggering””

  1. the old solid red brick building public swimming baths off the walsall rd pulled down for houses. Netherstow swimming bath closed to public where i learnt to swim. King Edward sports centre & swimming baths closed .The lower Friary school open air swimming pool closed turned into flats Friary Grange Sports centre due to close what a sad day when any amenaty my children and I used will no longer be there for the next generations to keep fit safe and well.

  2. Yes Joan I well remember the swimming baths by the Bowling Green Island. I taught a friend to swim there and he later taught his two children (now all excellent swimmers). An unpretentious facility built by an enlightened council. Future councils destroyed it for housing without a direct replacement. King Edwards pool has not been used for a decade or more as it needs substantial repair. The Sports hall is yet another outrage on a shared public facility that has been removed. It seems absolutely ridiculous that we have to beg our council to provide us with these basic facilities. We desperately need a council who truly represent the people in the area. Quite frankly if they gave the local citizens the respect they lavish on new housing developers we might start moving in the right direction.

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