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STAYING AFLOAT: Stanmore Leisure Centre raises fees over running cost fears

 Published on: 9th January 2023   |   By: Jacob Collick   |   Category: Uncategorized

Prices at the Aspire Leisure Centre have risen for the first time since 2019, with increasing operating costs and utility bills putting the survival of the centre under threat. 

The majority of Centre Card and monthly Premier memberships have risen by between £1 and £4, most annual membership prices have risen by around two per cent, while the cost for most exercise classes, pool sessions, and hall hires have risen. 

With a third of the members of the leisure centre having a disability, centre manager Dean Tearle said keeping higher pool temperatures is vital, though this comes with higher operating costs. 

Dean said: “We are doing all we can to reduce costs where possible without affecting our staffing levels and have been working hard on ways to become more sustainable as well as apply for grants and funding.”

Not all prices have gone up, with the annual fee for a junior membership having been reduced from £372 to £200. Certain prices for members remain unchanged, and some hall hire prices have dropped for certain memberships. 

Ukactive, a not-for-profit body representing the interests of gyms and leisure centres, published a consultation in November showing that 40 per cent of council areas were at risk of losing their leisure centres or seeing reduced services before April 2023.

Jane Nickerson, Swim England chief executive, said: “[Swimming pools] are particularly vulnerable to the rising energy prices as we are seeing now with increased closures and service reductions. Our fear is that more than 100 pools are under threat in the next six months.”

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