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.

Friary Grange Leisure Centre

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.

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

5 replies on “Ice rink plan for under-threat leisure centre was rejected due to “complexities” of the site, Lichfield District Council report reveals”

  1. Presumably Planet Ice would have bore the cost of development of the site so, exactly how was the decision made that this wasn’t a viable option?? “Complexities of the site”? What complexities?? The same complexities as needlessly closing down business for Friarsgate – which is still boarded up?! Come on – we’re not stupid!! It would be the only ice skating venue in Lichfield – so a valuable tourist attraction? It’s almost as though a decision has already been made and this entire episode it merely lipservice….

  2. Really only the pool now as the private company (aka trust) running the school is going to have the pitches and hall. If you count the taxpayer funded school and land a gift of about £7m assets to a company formed in March with no assets till now. A bloody scandal, as usual with this scam.

  3. It should be turned in to a full leisure center for the people of Lichfield funded by the tax payer after all we fund the damp squib Garick theater and have been for years ,take it’s funding away and put it to good use something for the whole of Lichfield to enjoy and benefit from .

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