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A swimming club says it is “disappointed” by a council report saying Friary Grange Leisure Centre could remain shut until October.

Although the Government has given the green light for leisure centres to reopen from 25th July, Lichfield District Council has confirmed only Burntwood Leisure Centre would initially open.

A report to a meeting of an overview and scrutiny committee tomorrow (16th July) has revealed that the Lichfield centre could be shut until October.

The pool at Friary Grange Leisure Centre

Helen Dickinson, chair of Lichfield Swimming Club, said the news was disappointing for both their members and the wider public.

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“Having read the council document it yet again seems that Burntwood has been given priority over Lichfield.

“Combined with the pool at Rugeley being unable to open due to repairs, this is putting increasing pressure on capacity of pools and leisure centres across the area.

“This is not only an issue for Lichfield Swimming Club, but also the wider local community who rely on the leisure centre to stay healthy and active, both physically and mentally.

“The Government have stressed how important staying healthy and tackling obesity are key in fighting COVID-19.”

Helen Dickinson, Lichfield Swimming Club

The report to the overview and scrutiny committee said financial considerations as well as challenges of social distancing measures at Friary Grange were behind the decision not to reopen it at the end of this month.

But Lichfield Swimming Club said they had carried out their own measures with a view to using the facilities safely.

“We are disappointed at the notification that the Friary Grange Leisure Centre may not be reopening before October 2020.

“The club have been working hard with Swim England over the last four months to ensure the safety of the swimmers as they return to the pool once restrictions were lifted.

“This has been achieved via the completion of robust risk assessments which we are confident adhere to the Government guidelines to ensure that Lichfield Swimming Club can return to the pool with immediate effect. 

“The club is delighted that our membership has remained the same and that swimmers and parents are as keen as ever to return to the water.

“This would ensure a guaranteed income from Lichfield Swimming Club – and like most clubs we are always looking for more swim time so this would have a positive impact on the income of the leisure centre.”

Helen Dickinson, Lichfield Swimming Club

A council report to the meeting said:

“While Friary Grange remains closed, officers and Freedom Leisure will work with Friary Grange users to support their access to other facilities on a temporary basis.

“The post-lockdown performance of Burntwood will be subject to weekly operational reviews and monthly formal reviews.

“The performance of Burntwood – in particular the returning demand – will be used to inform decisions on the restoration of service at Friary Grange.”

Lichfield District Council report on reopening of leisure centres

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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1 Comment

  1. “The performance of Burntwood – in particular the returning demand – will be used to inform decisions on the restoration of service at Friary Grange.”
    In other words if not enough use is made of Burntwood then they won’t feel the need to open Friary Grange and likewise if it gets used to capacity that will be a reason not to restore FG too!
    What a missed opportunity to do repairs on the leisure centre/swimming pool during the COVID-19 crisis. All excuses now LDC…….very disappointing to Lichfield residents.

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