No to free swimming

FREE swimming sessions will NOT be available at Royston Leisure Centre – in spite of the opportunity to obtain a Government grant. North Herts District Council has decided that it will be unable to meet the costs of running the sessions once the grant com

FREE swimming sessions will NOT be available at Royston Leisure Centre - in spite of the opportunity to obtain a Government grant.

North Herts District Council has decided that it will be unable to meet the costs of running the sessions once the grant comes to an end in two years' time.

The Government was offering the grant for free swimming sessions for over-60s and under-l6s to encourage swimming at all pools.

In a report the district council's scrutiny committee was told that to continue running the sessions would place a "financial burden" on the budget.


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The Government had offered a grant of £36,307 for all pools in North Herts over the next two years.

"There is a risk that if the council partcipates, and there are no grants after two years, the council will have to decide if the free swimming continues," said the report.

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To continue the free sessions was estimated at costing the district council about £200,000-a-year.

There was concern, too, that to abandon the free sessions after two years would see a "negative" reaction from the public.

In 2007-08 income from swimming activities was £1,425,166, although a "substantial" amount was retained by the council's contractors.

Income from over-60s swimming at the Royston Leisure Centre was estimated at £9,407-a-year, and from under-16s swimming at £14,816-a-year.

The report added, however, that the council was looking at other initiatives for swimming pools.

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