Leisure centre fees rise in Warwick district after management takeover by private company

What the new centre at Newbold Comyn could look like
What the new centre at Newbold Comyn could look like

Price rises have been made to some services at Warwick District Council-owned 
leisure centres after a private management company took over their day-to-day 
operations.

This comes after the project costs to revamp the centres have gone over budget, with both swimming pools being closed for months and their reopening delayed.

This has caused anger among local Labour councillors, who claim profit is being put before the public good.

Everyone Active started managing St Nicholas Park Leisure Centre and John Atkinson Sports Centre in Warwick and Castle Farm Recreation Centre, Meadow Community Sports Centre and Abbey Fields Swimming Pool in Kenilworth yesterday (Thursday June 1), and will take over the running of Newbold Comyn Leisure Centre in Leamington once it partially reopens in August.

Although concessionary rates have not up, many service users will now have to pay more.

One of the biggest increases is for individual gym sessions for over-60s at Newbold and St Nicholas Park. It used to be £2.75 and £2.55 respectively, but it is now £4.35 for both.

Speaking before the takeover, Labour district councillor Kristie Naimo said: “A lot of the key charges to users are going up by 10 to 20 per cent - and in one case by 55 per cent for seniors.

“There’s some council protection under the contract for those entitled to concessionary rates, but ordinary families will see immediate price increases.

“It’s as Labour warned - this major public investment will be run to maximise profits, not for the overall public good.”

However, Toni Gaskins, the area manager for Everyone Active, confirmed all existing membership prices would not change until April 2018, and the 25 per cent discount to members disrupted during the improvement works will remain until Newbold fully reopens.

The council’s portfolio holder for culture Cllr Michael Coker said: “These facilities will not only pay for themselves but stop the need for continuing subsidy.

“The pricing structure is in keeping with the local charges and takes into account the modern facilities and that there was no increase last year.

“It is no surprise that although Labour knew about these prices three weeks ago they wait until the launch of Everyone Active to complain.

“I am of course sorry for the delay which has been caused by utility problems beyond our control but if it had been left to Labour we would not be having these facilities at all.”

Anyone wishing to view the full price list can click here