Elderly and children face highest rises as Preston City Council hikes leisure centre charges

Posted on - 31st January, 2013 - 8:00am | Author - | Posted in - Preston News, Recreation

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The cost of going to for a swim or using the gym in Preston is set to increase from April.

Proposals to raise the charges at council-run gyms have been rubber-stamped for approval.

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The new charges, approved by cabinet member for adult services, culture and leisure Councillor Tom Burns, will hit children and the elderly the hardest.

A one-off swim for a child will increase to £1.85 from £1.55, and for OAPs it will increase from £2.10 to £2.50 – an increase in both cases of 19 per cent.

Use of the gym will increase for children and OAPs by 21 per cent, to £3.40 each time for children and £3.80 for OAPs.


For adult members signing up for a membership will see the cost of an annual term soar by over a third, from £216 to £288. Or £240 if paid in one go.

A junior membership paid monthly by direct debit will increase by 31 per cent from £156 to £204.

An adult swimming membership for a year will increase by 6 per cent to total £216 if paid by direct debit, or £180 if paid in one lump sum.

The cost for children of using badminton, table tennis, squash and indoor bowls will all see significant increases in price – with squash increasing by 20 per cent from £3.50 to £4.20.

An OAP wanting to use the climbing wall at West View Leisure Centre will need to find an extra 70p each time, as the cost rises by 20 per cent from £3.50 to £4.20.

The council claims the price increases are being phased in over a number of years to limit the impact.

Prices in Preston are rising as Town Hall bosses struggle to balance the books for the loss-making leisure centres.

Council documents show the price increases are expected to net an extra £27,600 per year for the council.

Further price rises are due in 2014 when a child swim goes above £2 to reach £2.15 from £1.85 and an OAP swim goes to £2.70 from £2.50 in 2013.

An OAP will need to find £4.35 to use the gym each time in 2014 up from £3.80 in 2013.

The proposed price changes still make Preston one of the cheapest for use of gyms and swimming pools in Lancashire.

The current price of an adult swim, £1.50, is the cheapest of any county while use of the gym for an adult at £2.75 is only bettered by South Ribble at £1.75.

Councillor Tom Burns, cabinet member for leisure, said: “The council’s challenging budget settlement means that we must review the fees and charges of our services including Fulwood and West View leisure centres.

“The council actively encourages people from all backgrounds to take an active part in sports and leisure through our leisure centres and many sports programmes throughout the year.

“We remain very committed to the Passport to Leisure scheme which enables those on low incomes, with disabilities and older people to be able to use the facilities at West View and Fulwood leisure centres.”

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Councillors have until Tuesday 5 March to call-in the decision if they don’t agree with the rises. If no objections are made the new charges will come into force on Monday 1 April.

View the full leisure centre proposals on the council website.

Do you use Fulwood or West View Leisure Centres? What do you think of the proposed price changes? Let us know your views in the comments below

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