Commenting on the announcement by Lichfield District Council that the swimming pool at Friary Grange in Lichfield will reopen on the 24th October, Michael Fabricant says: “Lichfield District Council have done a amazing job supporting swimmers during this Covid crisis. While around a half of all District Councils in England have had absolutely no swimming facilities open at all, Lichfield District Council have kept the leisure centre in Burntwood open for most of the time. And now, the reopening of Friary Grange will mean that the Council will be operating two swimming pools once more and will be one of the few District Councils to do so.
“Last Tuesday (15th September) I met the organisers and some of the parents of Lichfield Swimming Club at Burntwood Leisure Centre and saw their activities. The Club is one of the most active in the midlands with youngsters getting training and developing their technique. As one parent told me: It has also helped her son mentally. He is autistic and the experience of joining in swimming with others on a weekly basis has been of great benefit to him personally and helped his overall behaviour.
“The direct and indirect benefits of swimming clubs cannot be overlooked.
“Sian Thompson, the Lichfield Club Manager, told me it has been a real trial trying to use 3 different swimming pool locations while Friary Grange has been closed. With its reopening, the Club can return to its ‘home’.
“But Friary Grange is not the long term answer to swimming in Lichfield. It is an old building, costly to run, and without the wonderful facilities enjoyed by Burntwood. I am in close contact with Cllr Doug Pullen, the Leader of Lichfield District Council, and I know that it is their intention to open a brand new swimming and sports complex by 2024 – maybe 2023 – and I will do all I can do to help obtain funding” Michael adds. “It will make Lichfield District one of the best in the country for sports facilities.”