A councillor has described the Government’s decision not to award funding to a new leisure centre in Lichfield as “devastating”.

Stychbrook Park. Picture: Google Streetview

The Levelling Up Fund bid had hoped to secure £5million for the new facility at Stychbrook Park.

But Lichfield District Council was not successful in securing the funding, leaving further questions over how a new leisure centre to replace Friary Grange would be paid for.

Cllr Paul Ray, Liberal Democrat member for Chadsmead, said the local authority needed to come up with an alternative funding plan to avoid the project failing to come to fruition.

Paul Ray

“The lack of support for our area by the Conservative Government is devastating.

“This project must not fail. We cannot afford to have yet another scheme stalled part way through the process.

“Lichfield residents have made it 100% clear that a leisure centre in the city is a priority. If the Conservatives will only listen to residents, and share their view that a leisure centre is a priority, they will find the money.

“The Conservatives need to implement a coordinated funding strategy for the various projects planned by Lichfield District Council – that has been so clearly lacking.

“They need to be proactive and determined to find this funding. They cannot let our community down.”

Cllr Paul Ray, Lichfield District Council

Cllr Ray’s comments come after Labour’s Cllr Dave Robertson also insisted the leisure centre must be build.

He told Lichfield Live:

“I am gutted that the Conservative Government has chosen not to support our area with funding that would have allowed the council to move ahead with plans for a replacement leisure centre in Lichfield.

“The district council needs to ensure that it keeps the promise to the people of Lichfield and make sure that we do see a replacement for Friary Grange before it closes in 2024.”

Cllr Dave Robertson, Lichfield District Council

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  1. I cannot believe that a city, a city(!) can’t even have a proper leisure/sports centre. It’s utterly ridiculous and pathetic.

  2. What is the point of our MP again? He cannot be held in high regard within his own party if Lichfield consistently misses out on the help it needs. The only thing we’ve got thanks to Mr Fabricant and his Government is HS2 cutting a damaging swathe through our county. I see he is talking about joining a new little lobbying group of Midlands MPs to fight for greater investment in the region. The only support he ever seems to give is to his close friend Andy Street as Mayor of Birmingham. How does that help his Lichfield constituency. In the last few days we’ve seen MPs for constituencies surrounding Lichfield celebrating their Level Up funding, but here all we have is another flagship project going south due to a lack of funding.

    You get what you vote for Lichfield.

    We have effectively got nothing yet again.

  3. Please people, let’s NOT vote for the Tories at the next local and national elections. They’ve taken the mickey out of this area, and completely taken us for granted. They need a serious kicking at the next election.

  4. The reason there’s no levelling up for our area is because the tories think this is such a safe seat they don’t need to put any money here.
    Unless of course, the chancellor confused Lichfield with Leicester or some other Midlands city beginning with ‘L’.
    You really do get what you vote for. Which is absolutely nothing at all.

  5. Lichfield is a million miles away from the need to “level up” surely the council tax raised from all the additional housing in the area can support the project.

  6. Michael Fabricant being his normal useless self. What is the point of the man except to be the but of jokes, even among his own colleagues? Isn’t it time we had an MP who cares about his constituents?

  7. I was surprised to hear that the council was relying on ‘levelling up’ money, this seems silly. Professor Pineapple on here has stated that Lichfield was placed in the same band as places like Kingston upon Thames, i.e. we are not a priority for the levelling up scheme whatsoever.

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