Could prices for using Ipswich gyms and swimming pools increase in 2018?
PUBLISHED: 19:00 11 September 2018
Prices for using sports facilities run by the council in Ipswich could increase later this year as part of measures to combat an income shortfall, it has emerged.
Ipswich Borough Council’s budget monitoring report for the first quarter of this year has revealed a £40,000 shortfall in income from sport and leisure facilities in just three months.
While no reason has been given for the below-expected figure, council finance chiefs have confirmed that a review of prices is underway.
A spokesman from Ipswich Borough Council said: “Like any organisation we review our fees and charges annually and our prices have been pegged at the current level for well over a year.
“It is far too early to speculate on any future pricing structure but we are determined to continue to offer our customers good quality and value.”
The last price rise took place in June 2017.
The council runs a number of swimming pools and gyms across the town, including Crown Pools, Fore Street Swimming Pool, and five Profiles gyms.
Pay per visit sessions can cost up to £7.05 for adults at the five Profiles gyms and up to £6.75 for swimming (including sauna and steam room use), while classes and activities such as racquet sports, athletics track and fitness classes range from £2.40-£9.40 (to hire a court).
The council’s report added: “Income within sport continues to reflect the changing nature of the sports and leisure market in Ipswich, so whilst the number of members to our subscription schemes remains broadly comparable to previous years, income is below expectations (£40k at June 2018).
“Income across the whole of sport continues to be monitored and a pricing review is underway to help to mitigate possible further shortfalls for the rest of the year.
“An updated position will be reported in Q2.”
A timeline of when the review is to be completed has not yet been laid out, but it is expected to take a number of weeks.
If a price hike is required, the increase is expected to take effect sometime late this year or early next year.
Last year, sport and leisure income was down by £167,000 on the target income, according to budget papers published in July.
Savings in other areas of £144,000 helped mitigate some of the impact, according to the council.