Friary Grange Leisure Centre

Lichfield’s MP says the council can be “proud” of their efforts to reopen local leisure centres.

Burntwood Leisure Centre has reopened following the COVID-19 closure, but Friary Grange Leisure Centre is likely to remain closed until October.

Michael Fabricant

Conservative MP Michael Fabricant said that he would like to see all leisure facilities open, but said Lichfield District Council was ahead of the national picture.

“Across the country, only 20% of council-run sports centres are open.

“Lichfield District Council have fifty percent – they can be proud of that. 

“But of course, we need to have Lichfield’s Friary Grange open too as well as the Leisure Centre in Burntwood. 

“My aspiration, however, is for Lichfield to have as up to date a facility as the one Burntwood enjoys and I know the council are exploring these possibilities. 

“I will do all I can to assist with any funding bids to keep Friary Grange open in the interim until a more modern facility can be opened.”

Michael Fabricant MP
Burntwood Leisure Centre

Mr Fabricant’s comments come after he received a response from sports minister Nigel Huddleston over concerns about funding for leisure centres.

“Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active.

“Outdoor swimming pools have been able to open from 11th July, and from 25th July indoor gyms, leisure centres – including sports halls – and swimming pools in England should be able to reopen.

“These facilities will be able to offer on-site services to customers, provided they are COVID-secure and follow Government guidance.

“Sport England have announced a £195million package of support to help community clubs through this crisis.

“It recently boosted its Community Emergency Fund by a further £15million to meet the demand, taking the total up to £210million.

“The income scheme announced by the Secretary of State for Local Government aims to support local authorities who have incurred irrecoverable loss of income from sales, fees and charge which they had reasonably budgeted for.

“Further guidance will follow on the principle of the scheme.”

Sports minister Nigel Huddleston


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

10 replies on “Lichfield MP says council can be “proud” of efforts to reopen leisure centres”

  1. So 20% of sports facilities are open across the country. Because our district has two facilities and one is open that means we score 50%? This, according to our Mps. calculations puts us well above par.
    Michael I don’t know what university you went to but you have good grounds for asking for your money back.

  2. I guess it is 50% based on the fact there’s two in the area, but the remaining Burntwood Leisure Centre is (like many other leisure centres) not running anywhere near capacity due to COVID-19 rules.

    Either way, great to go back to my local gym again yesterday and drive up the entrance to see kids playing football people and people running around again.

  3. Thanks to the staff and management. I use the gym and found the protective measures yesterday to be very good, as well as staff being very welcoming.

  4. Let’s see the essential works promised for Friary Grange done now before October so when it can open it will be fit for purpose for the next 4yrs as promised by LDC.

  5. That headline should read Lichfield MP talks rubbish… again

    LDC has opened 0% of the facilities in Lichfield, keeping closed a leisure centre they wanted to close last year, it stinks

  6. There is no way Burntwood can make up for Frhiary Grange especially with Covid restrictions. Even if Lichfield parents can get children into swimming lessons etc at zBurntwood is it realistic to expect them to travel there and back after school? Lichfield is a rapidly growing city and needs a public leisure centre

  7. @Philip – here you go:

    Fabricant attended Brighton Secondary Technical School and Brighton, Hove and Sussex Grammar School. He studied economics at Loughborough University, receiving a bachelor of science degree. He went on to study at the University of Sussex, where he was awarded a master’s degree in systems and econometrics in 1974, and postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford, University of London, and the University of Southern California in economic forecasting.[6] He was joint managing director of an international broadcasting electronics and Investment group in 1979, remaining there until 1991.[citation needed]

    Fabricant has frequently caused controversy through his use of social media and was criticised for joking about bestiality with llamas

    In June 2014, he came under further criticism when, following an exchange between Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Rod Liddle on Channel 4 News the evening before, he tweeted that he “could never appear” on a discussion programme with her, as he “would either end up with a brain haemorrhage or by punching her in the throat.”

    In August 2014, after Sayeeda Warsi resigned from David Cameron’s government over its policy towards Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, Fabricant was criticised for a Twitter remark that appeared to suggest Gaza was a “Muslim issue”

    In 2018, Fabricant called a teenage constituent a ‘complete twat’ on Twitter after she had questioned his commitment to working in part of the constituency.

    In July 2018, Fabricant was accused of being Islamophobic over a subsequently-deleted tweet he shared depicting London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is a Muslim, in a sex act with a pig.

  8. Thanks Steve. My comment to Michael Fabricant was really to show how politicians try to gain kudos from any situation.
    If 20% of local councils have Leisure Facilities open across the country that is what it means! You cannot extrapolate it to 50% just because your council has opened one of the two it runs. This is not so much about mathematics it’s more about common sense.
    Michael is very much a Curate’s Egg of a politician and is in the fortunate position of having ‘blue rinse’ support. That said, Parliament is packed with career politicians and the free-booters in the Lords.

Comments are closed.