Category Archives: Leisure centre news

Lichfield District Council and Burntwood Town Council today announce a collaborative project to fund the relocation of the much-loved skate park that was situated on land owned by Staffordshire County Council which has been allocated for a new health centre development due to start soon.

Understanding the importance of recreational spaces for residents, both councils have committed to work together to ensure the skate park finds a new home at Burntwood Leisure Centre.

Skatepark

The project is estimated to cost around £100,000, with Lichfield District Council contributing a significant £86,000 from council 106 funds. Section 106 funds can be made available to support a future need that arises as a direct result of a proposed development. Burntwood Town Council is also set to agree £20,000 from Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) monies next week; together demonstrating a strong partnership and commitment to community leisure facilities.

Leader of Lichfield District Council, Doug Pullen, expressed his enthusiasm for the project, stating:

“We know the skate park provides a valuable destination for children and young adults. We are committed to preserving and developing our leisure activities in the district, and I am pleased we have been able to work together with Burntwood Town Council to ensure skaters of the district will continue to have a place to practice, meet, and enjoy the facilities in a safe and secure location.”

Echoing the sentiments, Leader of Burntwood Town Council, Darren Ennis, highlighted the community’s concern over the loss of the skate park:

“We know that many young people and their families were unhappy that the skate park is being removed. I am thrilled that we have been able to work together with the District Council to find a way to move the skate park to a safe location and to jointly fund this important leisure facility for so many people.”

This initiative reflects both councils’ dedication to enhancing local leisure and recreational offerings, ensuring that the needs and interests of young people and families in the community are met. The relocation of the skate park to Burntwood Leisure Centre will not only preserve the activity but will also provide an upgraded and accessible space for skaters to enjoy for years to come.

Work on the new site is expected to commence shortly, with both councils working closely to ensure minimal disruption and a swift transition to the new location.

Residents can see what Lichfield District’s new £10 million leisure centre at Stychbrook Park is set to look like with the release of a special set of computer-generated images.

A preview of Stychbrook

The pictures give a sense of the scale and positioning of the facility, how it will be accessed and of its features including parking and a children’s play area.

Their release comes following the submission and validation of a planning application for the leisure centre which is being designed by ReCreation, a company founded by British Olympians.

The much-needed modern facility will replace the ageing Friary Grange Leisure Centre on Eastern Avenue, which is run down and despite repairs, is nearing the end of its life.

Situated at Stychbrook Park, where Eastern Avenue meets Curborough Road, it will feature a new 25metre, 6 lane variable depth swimming pool to include poolside seating and changing, and 80 station fitness gym with assessment room and equipment store, a Spin studio, a dance studio, reception, community room, external 3G pitch and new outdoor changing rooms.

ReCreation utilises a unique above-ground swimming pool design which is more affordable than the traditional construction method requiring excavation and the company has been asked to design a pool with variable depth.

Consultation has been taking place over the summer on the design proposals which will see the latest lighting technology considered to minimise light pollution, highways experts resolving traffic challenges and biodiversity experts ensuring that the environment around the new facility is enhanced.

Councillor Andy Smith, Lichfield District Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks and Major Projects, said:

“We know how important good leisure facilities are to the district’s residents and our officers are forging ahead with delivering the new leisure centre at Stychbrook Park.

“We are pleased to share these new images which show how the leisure centre is set to look and acknowledge the submission of the planning application which is an important milestone in the delivery of the project.”

More information about the Stychbrook Park Leisure Development is available on the Active Lichfield website.

Dozens of Lichfield residents attended a drop-in session this week to meet the team delivering a new leisure centre for the district.

The event at the Guildhall on Tuesday (8 August) displayed concept designs for residents to view and was manned by project officers from Lichfield District Council and Olympian-led design team ReCreation offering information and answering questions.

Attendees included residents living near the development site at Stychbrook Park off Curborough Road, current users of Friary Grange Leisure Centre and sports and leisure clubs in the district.

They expressed a range of feedback to the project team. The planned facilities are welcomed by residents who are looking forward to having a modern leisure centre and excited to see this progressing.

Concerns were raised by neighbouring residents regarding noise, light and traffic. These have been noted and will be reviewed by the project team to ascertain if any mitigating measures can be introduced within budget.

Councillor Andy Smith, Lichfield District Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks and Major Projects, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who came along to this first drop-in session. More than 100 people attended to learn more about the leisure centre development.

“We know how important good facilities are to our residents and are determined to deliver the best leisure centre that we can to replace the ageing Friary Grange.

“Further drop-in events will be planned and communicated as soon as possible.”

For updates on the project please visit www.activelichfield.co.uk/stychbrookpark 

This is the last month people across the district can sign up for membership of both Friary Grange Leisure Centre in Lichfield and Burntwood Leisure Centre with no joining fee, saving £20.

From 1 September, the joining fee will return so anyone considering joining the Active Lichfield community is encouraged to do so before the end of August.

Lichfield District Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Leisure Andy Smith said: “The district’s leisure centres are a great place for residents of all ages to come to, boosting their physical health and mental wellbeing.

“A wide range of membership packages are on offer and there is no joining fee until September so now is the best time to sign up and save.”

Burntwood Leisure Centre Manager, Lloyd Sanders, says: “There are always activities for all ages, and we have loved seeing new members joining us in recent weeks; many returning after seeing the changes we have made since taking back management control of the leisure centres.

“Swimming classes, football and exercise classes are always popular, but we have activities for older, less mobile people and lots of activities over the summer holidays for children. Check out the website for more details.”

For full details of the leisure membership packages available please visit the Active Lichfield website.

We would like to thank all our leisure centre members for their ongoing patience.

Following a banking issue, May’s membership payments were taken by direct debit on 1 June 2022.

We will contact all our members shortly to confirm when we will take June’s membership payments.

Last updated: 1 June 2023.

An initial visual showing a proposed design for the new leisure centre to be built at Stychbrook Park has today been issued by Lichfield District Council.

The draft graphic shows a timber-clad, low-level building that has been designed using buff brick for the key sawtooth elements with timber cladding used elsewhere to create a softer aesthetic in keeping with the landscape.

Further visuals will now be shared with the Member Task Group who have been supporting the project over the last three years. The visuals will then be shared with residents and community groups to get their feedback ahead of detailed design development that will take place with our contracted design team over the coming months with the building work due to start on site by the end of 2023.  The council is currently at the tender stage to procure the design services.

Leader of Lichfield District Council, Doug Pullen said: “I am thrilled to see the draft visuals for the new leisure centre at Stychbrook Park as this project continues. After months of uncertainty and challenges with funding, work is now progressing to deliver this much needed facility to support the long-term health of residents in the area.

“I am very keen that residents can give their opinion about the proposed designs and Lichfield District Council will be holding events for residents over the rest of the year so that progress can be shared, and comments will be invited for the duration of the build.

“When designing this initial visual the architects have listened to the requirements for an attractive building that is appropriate for the location and gives the community a leisure destination of which they can be proud.”

Details of the drop-in events for residents will be announced soon and the team from the council will be in touch directly with residents who live close to the site to invite them to meetings to discuss the development in more detail.

New and existing members of Lichfield District’s leisure centres are set to enjoy a reduction in the cost of membership as both facilities revert to the authority’s control.

Lichfield District Council is assuming management of Friary Grange and Burntwood leisure centres from Freedom Leisure on 1 April and, following an in-depth review of prices, a 5 per cent discount on membership is being announced to be launched from 1 May.   To make it easier for as many people as possible to become members the council confirms that the joining fee for new members is also being cancelled.

In addition, the temperature of both centres’ interiors and pools will be reviewed and the council has confirmed that the heat will be checked and turned up where appropriate to make leisure activity and swimming more comfortable for residents.

Burntwood Leisure Centre will be deep cleaned over the weekend of Saturday 1 April and Sunday 2 April, closing over this period to allow for some refurbishment works, while a deep clean of Friary Grange Leisure Centre will be conducted later in the month.

All residents are welcome to visit and enjoy the facilities and activities at both centres for free at special relaunch events on Monday 3 April from 9am to 3pm.

Existing members can access the facilities all day but may wish to attend after 3pm when the launch event has ended.

The relaunch will see the introduction of new ‘Active’ branding to reflect the reinvigoration of the leisure centres which will be visible from 1 April.

Lichfield District Council Leader, Councillor Doug Pullen, said: “We are determined to provide the best leisure services that we can for our residents as we know how important physical activity is for good mental health and physical wellbeing.

“We also want them to be affordable and I am delighted we are able to discount the membership cost to new and existing members.

“Please come along and enjoy the ‘Active’ open day on Monday 3 April where you can be assured of a warm welcome.”

The transfer of both Friary Grange Leisure Centre and Burntwood Leisure Centre from Freedom Leisure into Lichfield District Council control takes place on 1 April.

A weekend of deep cleaning and refurbishment works will take place before a re-launch event takes place on Monday 3 April at Burntwood Leisure Centre with free access on the day for residents to all centre facilities between 0900 and 1500.  Existing members will be welcome from 15:00 on the 3 April.

The weekend of Saturday 1 April and Sunday 2 April will see over 100 tradespeople coming into Burntwood Leisure Centre to give the site a deep and thorough clean and to undertake some refurbishment works ahead of the re-opening event on 3 April.

Burntwood Leisure Centre will be closed on both days due to the works taking place but

LDC wishes to reassure residents that any birthday parties due to take place over that weekend will still go ahead.

Lichfield District Council Leader, Councillor Doug Pullen, said: “I am thrilled that we have been able to invest in and support our leisure facilities and to ensure that these are safe, clean and vibrant places to visit and for our residents to exercise in.  We will be announcing some exciting changes in the next couple of days and we look forward to seeing as many people as possible coming to the free day on 3 April.”

The launch event will see free activities and refreshments for all ages, entertainment and the Leisure Team look forward to seeing existing, lapsed and new members to see for themselves the positive changes that have been made in both centres.

LDC is taking back management control of both facilities after an agreement was made with Freedom Leisure to exit their contract after managing the facilities since 2018.