An ice skating rink operator was interested in taking on part of an under-threat Lichfield leisure centre – but the idea was rejected because of “complexities” with the facility, a council report has revealed.
Two options remain on the table for the future of Friary Grange Leisure Centre, which had originally been earmarked for closure from April 2020 until a petition signed by thousands of residents forced a review of the decision.
The local authority says the decision is now between closure as planned and a short term plan to keep it open while a long term solution is being sought.
But a report by Cllr Liz Little to a meeting of Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet on 7th October revealed that other options had been rejected.
“A number of organisations have approached the council about whether opportunities could be explored to provide alternative arrangements for the continued use of Friary Grange Leisure Centre,” Cllr Little said. “These included Planet Ice and Lichfield Swimming Club.
“Each opportunity was explored, however after careful scrutiny it was decided that the council could not enter into projects with additional partners at a site with such complexities.
We also explored whether we could lease part of the leisure centre, but the loss in operating revenue meant this would have increased the net cost to the council.
“Many of the issues regarding value for money and increased liabilities for the council remained, and as such these proposals were deemed not viable.”
The council’s Cabinet will meet on 7th October at the Lichfield Garrick to decide which of the two options to push ahead with.