The sports hall at The Friary School

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A Lichfield school says work is progressing on opening up sports facilities to communities groups.

The Friary School has taken over the running of facilities such as the sports hall, all-weather pitch and dance studio from Lichfield District Council.

The school’s headteacher, Matt Allman, said coronavirus had put paid to plans for a seamless transition.

But he added that work was still going on behind the scenes.

“There is lots more to do. There is no short-term fix, there are still solutions being worked through with Lichfield District Council, and there is still a need to access COVID-threatened funding pots.

“Even so, we are active, we are on it – and not just for the short-term but for the long, long-term.”

Matt Allman

The school says it has already upgraded the student changing facilities, introduced a new access system, cleared out equipment and put a new roof in place.

But a statement on the school’s website said there would need to be some changes to the way the facilities operate.

“The long-term future of provision should be more secure as we have our heart and soul in those buildings.

“We have always sought to see any income generated go back into the facilities for the benefit of both our students and the community.

“This remains the end to which we are working and this approach has already been successful with the cricket pavilion, outside pitches and theatre.

“Of course, moving forward the provision will alter as we operate as a school, not a membership club, and we run without council funding.

“Even so, the availability will remain extensive with the facilities available for hire between 5.30pm to 9.30pm on weekdays, while we are also open to weekend bookings where required.

“The pricing structure will be simplified but we are not a profit-making organisation so the trend will not be upward.”

The Friary School statement

Groups seeking to book the facilities once coronavirus restrictions are eased can email lettings@friaryschool.co.uk.

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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