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Campaigners say the continued closure of Friary Grange Leisure Centre is “extremely disappointing”.
The facility has remained shuttered since the coronavirus lockdown, despite Lichfield District Council’s other leisure centre in Burntwood successfully reopening.
Cllr Doug Pullen, leader of the council, said he remained committed to future investments in Friary Grange and a long-term replacement leisure facility.
But members of the Friends of Friary Grange say more needs to be done to get Lichfield’s leisure centre back open.
“We are pleased to have received a clear statement from the leader of Lichfield District Council that they are fully committed to the refurbishment of Friary Grange Leisure Centre and the construction of a new replacement leisure centre in Lichfield.
“However, the long delay in re-opening Friary Grange is extremely disappointing for our community.
“Our open letter raised several important points and while Cllr Pullen has addressed some of them, there has been no consideration given to our request that Lichfield District Council and Freedom Leisure will work with the clubs, Friends of Friary Grange, staff and users to safely reopen the centre in line with the timetable for the Burntwood Leisure Centre reopening.
“Furthermore, the initial promise of an ‘October opening’ is now quoted as ‘the end of October’.”
Burntwood Leisure Centre’s reopening has seen some provision for local residents, but the campaigners say it is not an ideal solution.
“Friary Grange members are unable to book classes at Burntwood due to a lack of capacity, local clubs are having to travel around the county to resume training, and disadvantaged groups unable to travel to Burntwood have been clearly marginalised by the decision to keep Friary Grange closed.
“We will continue to push Cllr Pullen, the responsible cabinet member and officers to work with Freedom Leisure, and to communicate with our group to work towards a gradual reopening of Friary Grange by mid-September at the latest.”
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