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Friary Grange Leisure Centre

The group who helped fight plans for the closure of Friary Grange Leisure Centre has urged Lichfield District Council to keep their promises on future provision in the city.

Councillors on an overview and scrutiny committee will debate plans not to reopen the facility until October, despite the Government’s easing of coronavirus restrictions from 25th July.

The leisure centre’s long term future was saved last year when the local authority did a u-turn on plans to close the site completely after a high profile public campaign.

The Friends of Friary Grange group say the news will come as a blow to those who use the centre.

“While we understand the challenges Lichfield District Council is facing, it is disappointing for the people of Lichfield to hear that Friary Grange Leisure Centre will not open until later in the year.

“The need for affordable local facilities that our community can use to help maintain both their physical fitness and mental health has never been greater, particularly as we begin to emerge from lockdown.

“We appreciate that the council faces unprecedented financial demands as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and we would certainly endorse council leader Cllr Doug Pullen’s call for greater support from Government.

“But we would also urge Lichfield District Council to keep in mind their promise, made in front of a full-house at the Garrick theatre last October, to not only keep Friary Grange open but also fund a long-term replacement facility in the city.

“Additionally, we look forward to hearing news about the tender process for contracted work in the near future, and will be keenly watching Thursday’s meeting.

“We feel sure that a good many of the 11,000 supporters who signed our petition will be watching future developments with great interest – we certainly will be.”

Friends of Friary Grange spokesperson

People will be able to watch the overview and scrutiny meeting live tomorrow from 6pm:

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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1 Comment

  1. I appreciate the financial pressure that LDC is under but wouldn’t it would make more sense to open Friary Grange and start generating some income? How can it be assumed that demand will be too low? Has anyone asked the users? The swimming club, other groups and individuals (like me) are desperate to get back to exercising. Not forgetting the children and young people who’ve already missed out on so much of normal life this year. The sceptic in me wonders whether we’re being drip-fed this news to acclimatise us to the beginning of the end of Friary Grange, despite the fantastic efforts of the community and promises of the Council last year. I sincerely hope Mr Fabricant acts on Councillor Pullen’s request to call for greater funding from central Government for the leisure sector before the summer recess.

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