- Leisure centres remain closed because of COVID-19 outbreak
- Conservative leader of Lichfield District Council writes to MP asking for support
- Local authority says more than £240,000 has already been spent supporting operator of local leisure centres
- Warning additional funding of £1million may be needed over the next 12 months
The leader of Lichfield District Council has urged the Government to supply additional funding to support the leisure industry during the coronavirus crisis.
It comes after the local authority revealed it anticipated needing to provide around £1million to support services in the district over the coming 12 months.
The council has already spent £240,000 supporting Freedom Leisure – which operates leisure centres in Lichfield and Burntwood – during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Cllr Doug Pullen, leader of Lichfield District Council has now written to the area’s MP Michael Fabricant asking for him to lobby ministers on the issue.
In his letter, he wrote:
“As I am sure you are aware, Lichfield District Council currently funds the operation of two leisure centres within the district, which are operated by a not-for-profit organisation, Freedom Leisure.
“In order to ensure the long-term viability of our leisure provision, the council has supported Freedom Leisure with £240,000 of funding during the lockdown period.
“Unfortunately, due to the continued delay and lack of certainty on leisure centres reopening, I consider that this funding requirement will only continue to escalate.
“Our current modelling estimates that we will need to provide around £1million in additional funding within the next 12 months.”Cllr Doug Pullen, Lichfield District Council
Leisure centres will remain shut after failing to be included on the list of businesses able to reopen from 4th July.
Cllr Pullen said:
“Michael Fabricant has assured me that the council has his full support and that he will be contacting both the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on our behalf.”Cllr Doug Pullen, Lichfield District Council