Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet supports funding of £11.5m leisure projects for Lichfield and Burntwood

New facilities will be provided at Burntwood Leisure Centre.
The investment includes new facilities at Burntwood Leisure Centre.

A multi-million pound investment in the future of leisure activities in Lichfield District has been supported by the District Council’s Cabinet before it goes before Council on 28 February for approval.

At the meeting today (14 February) Cabinet supported funding a new £10million purpose-built leisure centre at Stychbrook Park and allocating up to £1.55million of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding in new leisure and sports projects in Lichfield and Burntwood. The CIL allows local authorities to raise funds from developers undertaking new building projects in the area.

This investment comes on top of the £5.3m investment in a new cinema approved by Council making a total investment in leisure across the District of nearly £17m – without increasing council tax bills for residents.

The much-needed new leisure centre at Stychbrook Park will replace the ageing Friary Grange Leisure Centre and feature a six-lane 25metre swimming pool, a vending area, a dance studio, a changing area for outdoor activity, a 3G pitch, a 80-station fitness and toning suite, Spin Studio and cycling points.

If approved by the Council, a pre-existing design will be adopted with works commencing in October 2023 and the facility expected to open by December 2024.

Cabinet is recommending that £1.45million of CIL funding is awarded to develop a range of sports and leisure activities including an aqua park at Stowe Pool featuring outdoor swimming and paddleboarding; a climbing wall and a soft play at Burntwood Leisure Centre; Adventure Golf at Beacon Park to replace the pitch and putt together with an obstacle course and padel tennis and a 3G sports pitch in the city for rent by community and sports groups.

An award of £100,000 is also recommended for Chasetown Football Club for the development of a 3/4G turf pitch.

In the meeting tonight Cabinet members also approved the transfer of the management, budget and operation of Burntwood Leisure Centre and Friary Grange Leisure Centre from current operator Freedom Leisure to the District Council from 1 April 2023.

The recommendation that management of the District’s leisure centres reverts to the District Council comes after discussion with Freedom Leisure and a mutual agreement has been reached to terminate its contract.

Final approval of the Cabinet decisions will be requested at a meeting of the Full Council on 28 February.

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

“We know good, modern leisure facilities are very important to residents and benefit fitness and good mental health.

“We are therefore committed to investing in leisure activities to support the current and future wellbeing of our residents and will deliver a new leisure centre for the district plus a number of exciting new activities.

“We are investing in those activities that were most popular when we asked residents what they wanted to see in the District.

“We have also agreed with Freedom Leisure to assume management of the District’s leisure centres and will ensure they remain open for residents to enjoy.” 

Published: 14 February 2023