Sports Minister, Nigel Huddleston, has written to Michael Fabricant today (29th July) concerning funding availability for facilities such as Friary Grange in Lichfield following a Parliamentary Question Michael asked of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport earlier in the month.
In his answer, Nigel Huddleston said: “Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. Outdoor swimming pools have been able to open from 11 July, and from 25 July indoor gyms, leisure centres (including sports halls) and swimming pools in England should be able to reopen. These facilities will be able to offer on-site services to customers, provided they are COVID-secure and follow Government guidance.
“Sport England have announced a £195 million package of support to help community clubs through this crisis. It recently boosted its Community Emergency Fund by a further £15 million to meet the demand, taking the total up to £210 million.
“The income scheme announced on Thursday 2 July by the Secretary of State for Local Government, aims to support local authorities who have incurred irrecoverable loss of income from sales, fees and charge which they had reasonably budgeted for. Further guidance will follow on the principle of the scheme.”
Michael now says: “Across the country, only twenty percent of council-run sports centres are open. Lichfield District Council have fifty percent! They can be proud of that. But of course, we need to have Lichfield’s Friary Grange open too as well as the Leisure Centre in Burntwood. My aspiration, however, is for Lichfield to have as up to date a facility as the one Burntwood enjoys and I know the Council are exploring these possibilities. I will do all I can to assist with any funding bids to keep Friary Grange open in the interim until a more modern facility can be opened.”