Operation of Lichfield District Leisure Centres Proposed Move to Council Wholly Owned Trading Company

Friary Grange and Burntwood leisure centres.
The proposals are for Friary Grange and Burntwood leisure centres to come under council control.

Proposals to transfer the operation of Friary Grange and Burntwood leisure centres, currently operated by not-for-profit leisure trust Freedom Leisure, into Lichfield District Council, will be taken to the Council’s Cabinet on the 14 February and Full Council on 28 February for approval.

The proposals would see both leisure centres move into a local authority trading company wholly owned by the council in Spring 2023.

The Council and Freedom Leisure have been in discussion over several months to agree the best way forward for leisure in the district and both parties agree the transfer of services is the best way forward. 

Doug Pullen, Leader of Lichfield District Council comments:

“We know how important good leisure facilities are to the people of our district, confirmed once more in recent district wide surveys. The council is committed to investing in and providing leisure centres people want to visit and enjoy.

“It was an easy decision to bring Friary Grange and Burntwood Leisure centres under council control, through our wholly-owned trading company, as we continue to evolve the services to support the health and physical wellbeing of people across our district. Our proposed new leisure centre at Stychbrook Park, a replacement for the ageing facility at Friary Grange, will be determined by Full Council in February, but we have robust plans in place for further developing and evolving leisure provision in the district.

“As a consequence of the transfer Lichfield District Council will be able to set aside an additional sum in an earmarked reserve to cover additional costs of energy until March 2025”

Ivan Horsfall Turner, Freedom Leisure’s CEO commented on the changes:

“We have had a strong and collaborative working partnership with Lichfield District Council, and we are proud of the work we have done to deliver the leisure centres in Lichfield over the last five years.  At this time however, both we and the council feel that this new venture will be a progressive move forward for the council and for the residents of Lichfield District and we will ensure a smooth and uninterrupted transfer of the service and staff back to the council.”

Published: 26 January 2023