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Leisure centre in Lichfield to close next year

By Jordan Reynolds | Lichfield | News | Published:

A Lichfield leisure centre is set to close next year.

Friary Grange Leisure Centre

Friary Grange Leisure Centre, including the gym, squash courts, public spaces and swimming pool, will close from April 26 next year under the management of Lichfield District Council and Freedom Leisure.

To keep the building open, more than £440,000 would be needed to address urgent issues including the roof, electrics and boiler would be required.

An investment of a further £2 million to bring the facility up to modern standards would be required, and this sum could significantly increase following full structural surveys Lichfield District Council has said.

Gym customers will be offered the chance to transfer to Burntwood Leisure Centre, or other facilities.

Councillor Philip White, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for learning and employability, said: “Earlier this year Staffordshire County Council served 12 months’ notice on Lichfield District Council to end the joint user agreement for Friary Grange Leisure Centre.

"This meant a new agreement needed to be established for public use of the leisure centre, which would also support The Friary School’s ambition to become an academy.”

Councillor Liz Little, Lichfield District Council’s cabinet member for leisure and recycling, said: “We worked hard with the county council to try to create a revised agreement for Friary Grange Leisure Centre, but unfortunately the age, condition and investment required in the building became an emerging issue.

"It was clear that a new agreement would not represent good value for council tax payers.

"Because of the situation, on July 9 the council’s cabinet agreed to work with Freedom Leisure to withdraw from the management of Friary Grange Leisure Centre by April 2020.

“We have also been reassured by the school that the sports hall and sports pitches, including the synthetic pitch, will still be available for community use outside school hours after April 2020, through a direct relationship with the school, which is positive."

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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