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Plans are being developed to allow leisure centres in Lichfield and Burntwood to reopen in the coming weeks.

The Government has given the green light for facilities to open later this month after coronavirus forced them to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Burntwood Leisure Centre

Lichfield District Council said a plan for the sites at The Friary and Burntwood Leisure Centre would be debated at a meeting on 16th July.

Cllr Richard Cox, cabinet member for leisure, said the Burntwood facility was likely to be the first to open its doors on 25th July, with the site in Lichfield coming later.

“It’s been a long and challenging sixteen weeks since Government mandated the closure of all leisure centres.

“It’s great that government have now given us some clarity on when and how leisure centres will be able to re-open.

“In readiness for this we’ve been doing a lot of work behind the scenes with our partners at Freedom Leisure to plan for how this can be best achieved locally.

“We’ve decided to focus the initial phase of re-opening at Burntwood.

“With so much still unknown about the impact of the social distancing restrictions or what demand will be like, it is important we take a phased approach to re-opening.

“Our discussions suggest other local authorities are considering similar approaches and a phased re-introduction is the sensible practice being adopted by services from libraries to transport to retail.”

“This will be disappointing for Friary Grange users. However, anyone familiar with the layout of the centre will understand how difficult it will be to deliver a COVID-secure, socially-distanced service from there, in the context of the restrictions announced by Government.

“We will work to support our residents to access other leisure opportunities in the short-term.

“I look forward to being able to welcome users back to Burntwood at the end of the month. We will carefully monitor the re-introduction of the facilities and services and use this to help inform future decisions.”

Cllr Richard Cox
Friary Grange Leisure Centre

Ivan Horsfall-Turner, managing director at Freedom Leisure, added:

“Freedom Leisure is delighted to be reopening Burntwood Leisure Centre on 25th July.

“The team is working hard to make sure the centre is ready and waiting to welcome back the local community, and look forward to seeing everyone very soon.”

Ivan Horsfall-Turner, Freedom Leisure

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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