School at the centre of controversial sports centre closure breaks its silence

A school at the centre of the controversial closure of a sports centre in Sandwell has broken its silence.

Pulse Sports and Fitness in Friar Park
Pulse Sports and Fitness in Friar Park

Pulse Wednesbury told shocked employees, parents and children it was closing after its landlords Phoenix Collegiate School demanded it shot down on Monday so "houses could be built" on the land.

However, Phoenix Collegiate headmaster Mike Smith told the Express & Star the land in Friar Park was not going to be sold for housing.

He said: "All that I can confirm due to confidentiality reasons is that the operation of the centre was terminated by the mutual agreement of all parties following lengthy discussions.

"This is separate to the parcel of land which the school is in the process of selling to enable improved teaching and sporting facilities to be created on our current Clarkes Lane site."

Headteacher Mike Smith

He added: "This parcel of land was two old football pitches which had been unused by the school for seven years.

"These pitches have already been replaced with the creation of two new FA standard football pitches on the Clarkes Lane site. The sale will also include a significant contribution to Sport England for other sports developments in the area.

"The Pulse soccer centre is a separate entity entirely, no request to the DfE for the disposal of this land been sought nor has any planning applications for housing been sought on this land."

More than 150 football teams were made homeless due to the closure of Pulse. Several of which were girls teams who wanted to capitalise on the Lionesses historic European Championships win on Sunday.

Mr Smith said: "The school has been in contact with the Football Foundation and made attempts to contact some of those affected on the closure of Pulse so it can work with those parties and I await their response."

Sandwell Council cabinet member for education and Friar Park Councillor Simon Hackett was meeting Mr Smith on Wednesday to discuss the sudden closure of the sports centre after being unaware of it until seeing it on social media.

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