Borough’s leisure charges set to increase by 5%

THE COST of enjoying the borough’s numerous leisure facilities over the forthcoming year is set to rise by up to 5%, according to Coleraine Borough Council.

The proposed increase, which covers everything from leisure centre admission charges to golf club green fees will take effect from April and represents a 50% reduction on last year’s hike.

Price changes include a 10p increase to the normal £3.40 adult or £2.40 child swimming ticket and £1.50 increase to the £33 cost of hiring an outdoor pitch for a senior football match.

Speaking at a committee meeting of Coleraine Borough Council, Director of Leisure Services Richard Baker, said he was recommending the lower price increase to take account of the country’s current financial situation balanced with a decline in facility numbers and, therefore, return.

He said: “The proposed charges have been developed in the context of the current economic climate i.e. increasing costs to Council to provide leisure services, primarily utility fee, maintenance and repair of ageing facilities and the real ongoing reduction in public spending.

“However, the proposed charges also reflect the social responsibility that this Council has to meet the needs and influence the lifestyle and wellbeing of our citizens.”

Mr. Baker asked councillors to also approve a review of the Access to Leisure Scheme (ATL) as managers in Council’s leisure facilities had commented to him: “for some courses the concessions applied are jeopardizing sustainability of classes.”

Commending the price increases to council for ratification tonight (Tuesday), he added: “Whilst it is evident that fees and charges now need to be consistently applied, for the centres to operate effectively, the management need a degree of flexibility to be proactive with promotions and offers in order to retain and grow the business where possible.”