Council bids for more than £19million in ‘levelling up’ funding to deliver new leisure centre and regeneration projects across the district

A sign saying 'funding'

Lichfield District Council is bidding for millions of pounds in funding to help deliver a new leisure centre in the city and an exciting range of district-wide projects.

An application to Round 2 of the Government’s Levelling Up Fund for £15,773,743.80 was made last week towards the £17,526,382 project cost of providing a new leisure centre to replace the Friary Grange.

The council would provide 10 per cent match funding for the facility which is set to include a six-lane swimming pool with moveable floor, a café, community room/studio, outdoor changing, 80 station fitness and toning suite, Spin studio, EV charging points and cycle storage.

The bid has support from local community groups, Staffordshire County Council, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.

The council is also bidding for a conditional allocation of £3,285,310 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) which supports community projects, regeneration, health and wellbeing initiatives, the high street, transport, skills and job opportunities.

The £2.6billion UKSPF is replacing European Structural and Investment Funds with the objective of levelling up and creating opportunities nationwide.

To support the bid last week, there was a requirement to submit an investment plan outlining projects for 2022/23, 2023/4 and 2024/5 which meets the UKSPF priorities of Communities and Place, Supporting Local Business and People and Skills.

The council’s investment plan features a balance of projects aimed at benefitting the whole district such as creating a Burntwood Community Hub, a cinema in Lichfield, providing high street support, workforce development, business start-up support, inward investment and visitor economy marketing and employment assistance.

The council has prioritised capital and revenue projects that fit with the investment priorities in the UKSPF’s prospectus and are considered strategic priorities in its own Economic Prosperity Action Plan, 10-year Capital Programme and Active Living Strategy.

The Leader of Lichfield District Council, Councillor Doug Pullen, said:

“We have dynamic plans for development across the district and are determined to see them realised.

“From a new leisure centre in the city to a community hub in Burntwood there is much to look forward to.

“The Levelling Up Fund and UK Shared Prosperity Fund are supporting projects of this nature, so I am delighted that we have submitted bids for a share of the available money.

“I hope that they are successful.”


Published: 11 August 2022