Friary Grange Leisure Centre could get a stay of execution while a replacement facility is built, it has emerged.
Talks have been ongoing between Lichfield District Council and Staffordshire County Council about the future of the facility after thousands signed a petition protesting against proposals to shut the site from April 2020.
A final decision is expected in October, but emails seen by LichfieldLive reveal a breakthrough may have been made.
Cllr Doug Pullen, leader of Lichfield District Council, told members of the controlling Conservative group that while there could be no guarantees, he was hopeful a leisure centre could be retained in the city in the long term.
“We have given direction to our officers to carry out a number of activities, with the intended aim of leeping Friary Grange Leisure Centre open for between 3-5 years, and building a new leisure centre (either a developer or by the council), within 3-5 years so that there is a clean transition to the new pool.
“We have had some very positive discussions with Staffordshire County Council and believe that we have found a more agreeable way forward with regards to the lease of the building.”
“Issue has appaerently been lurking for over a year”
Cllr Pullen, who took over the leadership of the council in May, added that talks had also been held with Sport England, Lichfield Swimming Club, Freedom Leisure and members of the campaign group fighting to save Friary Grange Leisure Centre.
“While I can’t make any guarantees as to the outcome of our Cabinet meeting in October, I can assure you all that we are doing everything possible to see if we can keep the pool open and create a new leisure facility,” he said.
“This issue has apparently been lurking for over a year now – come October we will hopefully have the positive outcome which the district deserves.”