Sporting facilities prices go up

Multi million pound sporting facilities in Breckland are set to raise prices just one year after opening their doors.The creation of a new leisure centre in Dereham and the expansion and refurbishment of an existing facility in Thetford was completed last year as part of a £66m Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal.

Multi million pound sporting facilities in Breckland are set to raise prices just one year after opening their doors.

The creation of a new leisure centre in Dereham and the expansion and refurbishment of an existing facility in Thetford was completed last year as part of a £66m Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal.

It was hoped the new facilities would encourage people in Breckland to take up more sport as well as provide a home for groups and clubs.

New figures from Parkwood Leisure in Dereham show in the six months between August and January have revealed that total admissions are up 27pc compared to the same period in 2006/07.


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The £8.9m building in Station Road includes a fitness and aerobics suite, sports hall, four rink indoor bowls centre and six lane 25m pool.

Meanwhile Breckland Leisure Centre in Thetford saw usage rates increase more than 6pc over the autumn and winter period.

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But despite an increase of people using the centres, prices have been put up, so an Expressions member, who can use the gym, pool or take certain classes for free, will pay £1 a month more, taking the cost up to £32.

And there are fears the extra hike in price could leave people unable to afford to use the plush new centres, or even put them off using them at all.

Operations director for Parkwood Leisure, Andy Corcoran, said: “Our increase is below inflation. It's customer practice to review prices agreed with clients at certain times of the year.

“Prices are reviewed at all our centres across the country and some will go up more than others depending on what is needed for the year ahead.

“We're not planning to expand. It's about the cost of living. We still have bills to pay and if those increase then our prices will.

“It would have been unfair of us to charge the customer more when we opened. If you say we could have predicted the inflation we would have overcharged customers. The increase is in line with figures.”

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