The recent changes to sports provision at the Friary Grange Sports Centre have seen the running of the Sports Hall, Astroturf and Dance Studio pass over to our school and we were planning a seamless transition over from Freedom Leisure / Lichfield District Council on 1 May.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus put paid to that, but there has still been a lot of work going on behind the scenes to ensure we are ready to open up for community use as soon as possible after the government give the green light.

The long-term future of provision should be more secure as we have our heart and soul in those buildings. We have always sought to see any income generated go back into the facilities for the benefit of both our students and the community. This remains the end to which we are working and this approach has already been successful with the cricket pavilion, outside pitches and theatre.

Our students have lessons and exams in the sports building so we have a real incentive to care for them. Since the changes came into being we have already upgraded the students’ changing facilities, installed a new security system, a new community access system, had a good clear-out of legacy equipment left with us, and there is new roofing in place via support from Staffordshire County Council.

At the same time as all this work, we opened up the facility to Staffordshire County Council’s community food relief scheme so things have been somewhat hectic.

Of course, moving forward the provision will alter as we operate as a school, not a membership club, and we run without council funding. Even so, the availability will remain extensive with the facilities available for hire between 5.30pm-9.30pm on weekdays, whilst we are also open to weekend bookings where required. The pricing structure will be simplified but we are not a profit-making organisation so the trend will not be upward.

We have been in communication with users as best as we can through the transition and lock-down and will be contacting them with booking arrangements. Alternatively, any queries can be emailed to

Matt Allman, Headteacher, said: “There is lots more to do, there is no short-term fix, there are still solutions being worked through with Lichfield District Council, and there is still a need to access COVID-threatened funding pots. Even so, we are active, we are on it, and not just for the short-term but for the long, long-term.