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A councillor has warned it will be difficult to gauge what the take up for activities at Friary Grange Leisure Centre will be when the site reopens next month.

Lichfield District Council has confirmed that the city facility will open on 24th October.

Friary Grange Leisure Centre

A meeting of an overview and scrutiny committee this week saw councillors discuss projections for future usage of the site as it emerges from the coronavirus closure.

It came after the meeting was told that income generated through swimming at the reopened Burntwood Leisure Centre was just £5,000 for the whole of August.

But after councillors asked what marketing could be done to get people to return to leisure centres in Lichfield and Burntwood, Cllr Brian Yeates – who also runs an entertainments promotion business – said it would remain difficult to make any forecasts.

Cllr Brian Yeates

“We are all talking about estimates and costs, but being in the leisure industry I can tell you we’ve never been in a situation like this and you cannot project what is going to happen.

“As a promoter – and I know other promoters who have advertised events too – the public show enthusiasm but they don’t buy tickets. The majority of the events organised have then been cancelled.

“We have to be aware of this – you can advertise and promote, but you can’t force the public to go at the moment.”

Cllr Brian Yeates, Lichfield District Council

Cllr Yeates said the local authority needed to keep a close eye on the developments as coronavirus measures change.

“It is a very nervous situation for everyone.

“We as a council must be aware of this and must watch exactly what is going on and be aware of it.

“No-0one can predict what is happening because we’ve never been in this position before.”

Cllr Brian Yeates, Lichfield District Council

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5 Comments

  1. Opening the Friary is not a promotional event it’s a leisure facility for residents to keep fit and exercise. The longer you keep Friary closed the greater the loss of revenue. Perhaps if the councillors where to use it themselves, they would have a better understanding of why active residents use it. Why do we always hear negative comments from our councillors, are there any positive vibes to come out from our councillors?

  2. Ron our council leader joined it when we were fighting the closure but I do not know anyone who saw him, I believe Fabo joined but if he did no one saw him. It is all a front to make them look good.

  3. I can name one councillor who joined and went to classes! And I’ll be back at them as soon as those doors open…

    But Cllr Yeates is right – no-one can predict demand. So what better way of finding out than opening the doors and see who goes? Shame we’re having to wait until the end of October.

  4. Prior to closure I used the facilities 6 times a week. How can I show my demand unless it’s open?
    Also what is going on with the Sporthall … the Friary school is now suggesting this won’t be available for hire until November … maybe!

  5. Can a price be put on the heath and fitness of a Staffordshire resident? I’m sure the council are well aware of the cost impact to support over weight, diabetic and therefore vulnerable residents recently in our community. Let alone the costs to wider NHS services. Great to see Michael Fabricant look in on a Lichfield swimming club training session recently, hopefully to understand how many youngsters utilise the Friary facility under usual circumstances. Many Lichfield swim club members are not swimming as much as usual due to having to travel to Burntwood.

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