Council chiefs have confirmed that the reopening of Friary Grange Leisure Centre will only feature the swimming pool initially – and that the facility will shut again for repairs at the end of next month.

The pool at Friary Grange Leisure Centre

The city facility has been pencilled in to welcome back users on 24th October having been closed since the start of the coronavirus crisis.

It has now been confirmed that the dance studio and gym facilities will not reopen until 2nd November due to half-term work taking place in an area of the facility currently shared with The Friary School.

But users will face further downtime when work on the ceiling over the pool will see it shut again from 29th November until 4th January.

Cllr Richard Cox, cabinet member responsible for leisure at Lichfield District Council, said:

“The re-opening of the pool and other facilities at Friary Grange Leisure Centre is good news, even if we do have to operate at limited capacity and alongside the essential repairs programme.

“We are glad to be finally starting on the refurbishments which were promised in 2019 but have delayed due to COVID-19.

“While closing the pool will cause some disruption, December is by some way the quietest month for leisure centres, and is the best time to complete the work.

“We will be working with Freedom Leisure to communicate with Friary Grange members and regular pool users, to make sure alternative arrangements are in place for them to use the facilities at Burntwood Leisure Centre until Friary Grange re-opens in January.”

Cllr Richard Cox, Lichfield District Council

The comments come after a meeting of Lichfield District Council last week where Cllr Cox had said that “all services will be going ahead” when the site reopens.

But Cllr Alan White warned that the rising coronavirus infection rate across Lichfield and Burntwood could curtail the plans in future.


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  1. The gym is due to reopen on 2nd November. The issue appears to be around a suggestion that all facilities would reopen on the 24th, but it will not only be the pool for the first week and a half.

  2. The story of Friary Grange is becoming farcical.
    1) Why set a date to open when half the facilities could not be opened? Or why not at least communicate that?
    2) Why not do the repairs to the pool whilst it was already closed?
    The most generous of interpretations (that this couldn’t be avoided and is simply bad luck) suggests that the Council’s communications on the issue have been awful.

  3. Are our councillors for real. They have had months to conclude any repairs but choose December as “it’s a quiet month”. What a joke!! So much for promises not to close the facilities.

  4. I’ll get this out there – the problem isn’t the councillors giving us the wrong information, the problem is the LDC officers who misinform them or fail to give them any information! Licensing, Planning, Tourism, Roads they all ‘Spin to suit!’

    Too many times I’ve seen this and too many times i’ve seen the councillors take the flack and its wrong.

    It’s about time these ‘Professional’ Officers are called to account but no they hide behind their desks, moan about workload, moan to their line managers and make a manageable situation worse.

    Ask any business in the city and they’ll tell you the same. I’m telling you if theres is a second lock down something will really hit the fan in the city…..Support for businesses! ‘We’re in and amongst you supporting you’ Where???? What a joke! I’ve never seen the city centre look so empty! Oh but wait there’s a Masterplan! We know what that is…..Wait till Cannock’s new shopping centre opens and the car park issue wont be an issue any more!

    The sh*te I’ve heard that businesses have had to deal with this year with regards to planning permission for seating, licences and support is ridiculous. I’m seriously thinking about moving!

  5. “While closing the pool will cause some disruption, December is by some way the quietest month for leisure centres, and is the best time to complete the work”.
    Ye gods and little fishes you just have to laugh!

  6. Once again a ridiculous situation. During all this time the pool has been closed would it not have sensible to do whatever repairs/maintenance was necessary at this time instead of opening for a few weeks and closing again. Typical Council logic!

  7. I think Sarah Landon makes a valid point about the role of officers, not just in this on-going farce but in other aspects of LDC’s work as well. I can’t help it starts at the very top and if you do not have strong leadership then you will have problems. The elected leader of the council appears to be doing as much as he can under the circumstances, but you do often get the feeling he is often fighting with one (or even both!) hands tied behind his back.

    Two points on this:
    1 – Do they still believe December will still be a “quiet” month given the amount of time Lichfield has been without any facilities at all?
    2 – As many have pointed out, why not carry out the repairs to the pool whilst the site was closed? If there is a reasonable explanation then give it so that people can try to understand the logic.

  8. Absolutely no faith in lichfield council with regards to the pool being opened, they have made no efforts to inform people on line if friary leisure centre is open or not, if you call on phone you get a measage saying its closed, I went up in the week, and it dosent look anywhere ready to open, I’ve been hoping to go swimming for ages, i dont fancy having to go to burntwood, Lichfield councillors are useless

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