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Emails reveal under-threat Friary Grange Leisure Centre could be kept open until replacement facility is built in Lichfield

Friary Grange Leisure Centre could get a stay of execution while a replacement facility is built, it has emerged.

Friary Grange Leisure Centre
Friary Grange Leisure Centre

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.

Doug Pullen
Doug Pullen

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.”

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6 Comments

  1. Roy Appleby

    14th August, 2019 at 1:36 am

    Not happy with the wording (either by developer or by the council ) Looks like more house’s on the way or something else we don’t need. Watch this space !!

  2. brian pretty

    14th August, 2019 at 10:26 am

    it is a old out of date centre neglected by councils of all colours -pools are expensive to run etc
    suggest they have a look at a possible development in the birmingham road site

  3. Cllr Sue Woodward

    14th August, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    Bizarre comment by former Cllr Pretty that “centre neglected by councils of all colours”. Labour has not been in control of LDC since 1999 (he was of course a member of the controlling Labour Group 1995-99) and has not been in control of SCC since 2009. Perhaps he will explain.

  4. Alison

    15th August, 2019 at 9:17 am

    I doubt he will, Sue. Nothing gets in the way of reality more than facts.

  5. AgitatorofPeople

    16th August, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    “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.”

    What a woolly statement! Conservative council leader tells other Conservatives that after meeting Conservative majority Staffordshire County Council Conservatives that there could be no guarantees and he is “hopeful” that FGLC can be retained.

    Wow, glad they are all working so hard together on that, getting some agreement, overcoming those massive political hurdles.
    Blah, blah, blah, crocodile tears and bollocks.
    About sums up my assessment of it

  6. John Griffin

    19th August, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    Problem it impinges on another Tory policy, maximising asset transfer from the taxpayer to a private company by advertising Friary and handing over land and profitable parts of the centre.

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