Leisure centre project bids for £5 million from central government

Stychbrook Park sign

We have submitted a bid for £5 million to the government’s Levelling Up Fund as part of our strategy to fund the development of Lichfield’s new leisure centre.

The proposed new leisure centre will be built at Stychbrook Park in Lichfield subject to obtaining planning permission. Work has been going on in and around the park in recent weeks to survey ground conditions around the park in preparation for the drawing up of outline plans and public consultation later in the year.

The £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund is designed to bring government departments together to support priority local projects by focusing on the needs of individual places in places where it can make the biggest difference to everyday life. 

Councillor Liz Little, Cabinet Member responsible for Major Projects, said:

“We’ve had some fantastic support in putting this bid together, including from our local MP Michael Fabricant, from local sports clubs, from other local authorities and NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, our local enterprise partnerships and many more.

“The new leisure centre is vitally important to the future of the city and the district and represents so much more than just building. I believe our bid articulates an exciting vision, that this new facility, alongside Burntwood Leisure Centre, will become a focal point for helping increase participation in leisure and sport across our district, helping tackle health issues and creating a new hub for the community to complement existing facilities. With the Birmingham Commonwealth Games fast approaching, now is the time for us to make the case for our new leisure centre. 

“The Levelling Up Fund assigns a priority level to each local authority and regrettably Lichfield has been designated as priority 3, the lowest priority for funding. However, what I hope comes through is that we are leaving no stone unturned to secure the funding needed to complete the project and that we are using it to focus our efforts on meeting the identified health and leisure priorities of the district.” 

We have already committed £5 million towards the cost of the new leisure centre. The new facility centre will replace the existing Friary Grange Leisure Centre. Early proposals for the leisure include a 25 metre swimming pool, fitness centre, community rooms and a 3G football pitch. In February 2021, a programme of essential repairs was completed at Friary Grange at a cost of just over £400,000 to help keep the centre operational until the new leisure centre is completed.

The outcome of the Levelling Up fund bid is expected in the autumn.

Published: 24 June 2021