PRICE hikes are on the cards for leisure centre users.
Private firm Everyone Active has now taken over the running both Newbold Comyn in Leamington and St Nicholas Park in Warwick – both currently the focus of a controversial £15.5million plus revamp. They will also run John Aitkinson Sports Centre in Warwick, and at Abbey Fields Swimming Pool; Castle Farm Recreation Centre and Meadow Community Sports Centre, all in Kenilworth.
It was revealed last month the refurbishments would now not be completed until next spring after ‘a number of unforeseen infrastructure problems’ were encountered. All work was previously set to be completed by the end of the year.
And now users have been told they will have to pay more to use facilities. The pay-as-you-go senior gym fee has been hit hardest, increasing by 58 per cent from £2.75 to £4.35.
It comes after Warwick District Council recently admitted to adding an extra £1million to the previous £14.5million bill so Everyone Active could lease new equipment.
Members of the council’s Labour group have been less than impressed by the price hikes.
Coun Kristie Naimo said: “A lot of the key charges to users are going up where no improvements have been made yet.
“There’s some council protection for those entitled to concessionary rates, but ordinary families who use the facilities for recreation and health benefits will see immediate price increases.”
A council spokeswoman said Everyone Active would decide pricing.
She told The Observer: “Prices will be down to the judgement of Everyone Active who will use their vast industry experience and knowledge of the local area to decide what prices are appropriate.
“Some prices will rise but customers will also find that the cost of a number of activities will be reduced, making the facilities even better value for money than at present.
“Everyone Active has agreed to honour all membership prices for current members until April 2018, or when their annual membership expires, and are also honouring the 25 per cent discount being enjoyed by members until the date that the brand new gym at Newbold Comyn reopens.”
The Newbold Comyn Leisure Centre swimming pool, new 100 station gym and fitness studios is now set to now reopen in early August, with completion of the village changing facilities and sports hall also now set for next spring.
The swimming pool and new changing rooms at St Nicholas Park are scheduled to open at the beginning of September.
A refurbishment of the existing gym at St Nicholas Park gets underway this month and new equipment installed ahead of the new 80 station gym opening next spring.
* THE GREEN-LIGHT has been given to develop plans to improve recreational facilites in Kenilworth.
Warwick District Council’s Executive has approved the allocation of £30,000 to further plans to improve indoor and outdoor sports provision to meet the future needs of the town.
It will include the expansion of facilities at the existing council-owned Abbey Fields and Castle Farm sites.
Councillors also agreed to a study to determine how improvements could be made to the main footpath through Abbey Fields, running from the High Street to the swimming pools, play area and tennis courts.
Warwick District Council leader and ward member for Kenilworth Park Hill, Andrew Mobbs, said: “These are significant decisions for Kenilworth and demonstrate our commitment to improving facilities for the town’s residents and visitors.
“We need the footpath feasibility study to determine the best means of making the footpath more accessible for those with mobility restrictions, pushchairs and wheelchairs.”