Council chiefs say they still remain committed to plans for new leisure facilities in Lichfield despite missing out on £5million of funding.

A plan of the new leisure centre layout at Stychbrook Park
A plan of the new leisure centre layout at Stychbrook Park

Lichfield District Council had hoped to secure a large portion of the cash for the development at Stychbrook Park from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

But the local authority will now need to look elsewhere after the project was not awarded the funding.

Cllr Iain Eadie, cabinet member for leisure, said that while the news was a blow, he remained optimistic about provision in the city for the future.

Iain Eadie
Iain Eadie

“We are obviously extremely disappointed not to be awarded the funding from the Levelling Up Fund. However, we were always aware that as Lichfield was classified as a tier 3 priority area our chances of support from this fund were limited.

“We have requested feedback from our bid that will be helpful with future applications from other funding opportunities.

“We committed to invest in Friary Grange Leisure Centre and to keep it open while we looked to deliver new leisure facilities. We did that and have a seven-year lease on the current centre meaning people will be able to use Friary Grange Leisure Centre for many years to come. 

“We would like to get new facilities open as quickly as possible and will keep looking at how we can do that, alongside how we deliver regeneration in Lichfield district as a whole.”

Cllr Iain Eadie, Lichfield District Council

“We must now deliver new leisure facilities”

Lichfield District Council has already committed £5million towards the cost of new leisure facilities.

A task group will meet on Wednesday (3rd November) to discuss details of the recent consultation around the potential use of some of Stychbrook Park for new leisure facilities.   

“People have given us their views, so we need to take stock of these, as well as how the use of Friary Grange Leisure Centre has changed since 2019. 

“The Levelling Up Fund was not the only source of funding and we must now deliver new leisure facilities people will use and where there is an identified need such as for swimming, football pitches for youth teams, and for other sports.”

Cllr Iain Eadie, Lichfield District Council

8 replies on “Council chiefs committed to new Lichfield leisure facilities despite funding blow”

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  1. So, in other words, this one is being kicked into the long grass as you have a 7 year lease on Friary Grange anyway. Hopefully by then people will have forgotten and it will have fallen off the agenda. In the meantime, build as many houses as possible. Good plan Cllr Eadie.

  2. Hang on a second… The promise was that FGLC would be kept open for 5 years and the clock started on that in October 2019. By my maths (and I’m pretty good at sums), if the original promise is going to be kept that means there’s three years left. What’s this talk of 7 years and people using FGLC “for many years to come”? If LDC is going to do what it said it would do (and by that I mean the cabinet) it’s a maximum of 3 years, not “many years”.

    And to Cllr Eadie – I’ll give you a clue on how usage has changed since 2019. It’s gone down. There’s been this pandemic thing happening which means that when it wasn’t closed for repairs, it was closed due to regulations. It would be a brave (foolish?) person who would look at the period since the promise was made and try to extrapolate any conclusions from that.

  3. Hopefully they will get a reliable building contractor unlike the group who supposedly refurbished The Friary during lockdown. The roof above the Aerobic Studio is leaking again in the same places as before!

  4. Basing research fir the Friary pool and centre from 2019-21 doesn’t sound like a fair assessment due to pandemic restrictions etc.,
    More spending on patching up failing buildings does not feel correct either.
    Will the council please consider a proper overhaul and expansion of the Friary and also Burntwood pool/sports facilities as that now also seems to be failing too. Lichfield residents at the Garrick Theatre public meeting, were being directed to the latter as an alternative to the Friary. It seems to me that we very soon are in danger of having no public swimming pool for a rapidly expanding population. It seems time that the developers of land in this area should probably be contributing to the new sports centre funds.

  5. Here’s feedback on your application- you won’t get any money for anything because old Fabricant has a safe seat!

  6. I get frustrated when only in the past year part of the local election manifesto promise was to protect our green spaces yet here we are looking at building on Stychbrook Park. On the resent consultation a petition has been submitted from the local residence to Save Stychbrook Park with over 39o signatures. We need to look closely at how we prioritise what we spend our money on and where, with a Pure Gym now open and new Swim House coming in April all on Eastern Avenue a question the validity on the councils plans.

  7. Friary grange leisure centre has squash and badminton facilities together with many different exercise classes a pool and a gym all under one roof. It is also used for cardiac rehab. Pure gym does not cater for that and the building for the supposed swim house is still to let. The city needs a local authority setup not a for profit company

  8. As a local resident to stychbrook park I and other residents are extremely disappointed that you are still pushing for this on this green field site. Please stop taking away our green spaces.

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