THE cost of swimming is to increase at Wiltshire Council-run leisure centres in Durrington, Amesbury and Tisbury from April 1.
But prices for swimming at Five Rivers leisure centre in Salisbury, which is also run by the council, are to stay the same. Council chiefs say the changes will iron out some of the unfair differences between the various leisure centres, ending the “post code lottery” in pricing.
Examples of the increases at Durrington, Amesbury or Tisbury include an extra 20p for swimming for adults who are not members, bringing the charge to £5. Families who are members will have to pay £8.60 – an increase of 35p.
However, Five Rivers, where swimming sessions for non-members cost £5.70, remains the most expensive of the council’s leisure centres, which the council says reflects its greater range of facilities.
The cost of squash for seniors and juniors at Five Rivers is set to go up. The price for members will go up nine per cent to £4.20 for 45 minutes.
Jonathon Seed, Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet member for leisure, said: “We have been successful in retaining a leisure service for local residents, unlike many other local authorities, and we have largely held leisure fees and charges at the same rate since 2009.
“However, in the current challenging financial climate we want to continue to invest and improve these centres. By reviewing the fees and charges we will be able to do this and renew gym fitness equipment.”
Mr Seed added: “Some charges have been reduced whilesome have risen, but the majority have stayed the same.”
While the pricing structure is designed to be consistent across Wiltshire, individual centre managers will be able to promote sports or facilities at certain times to encourage more users into the centre during the daytime. Some groups may also be offered reductions under the council’s charitable fees scheme.