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Cambridge swimming pool prices expected to rise as energy bills soar by £300,000

It could cost an extra pound for adults to go for a swim at Cambridge’s pools and extra 50p for juniors in the new year to offset spiralling energy costs.

Cambridge City Council’s executive are due to discuss the proposals at a budget meeting on Thursday (December 8).

Abbey Pool complex. Picture: Keith Heppell
Abbey Pool complex. Picture: Keith Heppell

A report to councillors warns: “With the large-scale increases in utility prices across the UK, the leisure and culture sectors have been hit hard, with these cost increases in gas and electricity adding in excess of £300,000 and upwards to most leisure centre operational budgets for utility consumption.

“Cambridge city is no different with GLL, our leisure services contractor, reporting they expect anything upward of £300,000 in additional costs for utilities for the Cambridge leisure portfolio, despite the range of decarbonisation and energy saving measures that have recently been installed with government funding to reduce both carbon output and utility consumption at Abbey and Parkside Pools.

“Therefore, a proposal for price increases and a new start date for the implementation of these prices is being made, but is made with due consideration to anti-poverty aims and the detrimental impact the price increases may have on people’s ability to afford and enjoy regular attendance at the pools.”

Abbey swimming pool has a new water slide. Picture: Keith Heppell
Abbey swimming pool has a new water slide. Picture: Keith Heppell

The proposed changes to the swimming prices are:

  • Adult non-member – increase from £5 to £6
  • Adult member – increase from £4 to £5
  • Adult concessions – prices to stay the same
  • Junior non-member – increase from £3 to £3.50
  • Junior member – increase from £2.50 to £3
  • Junior concessions – prices to remain the same, and under threes to remain free

The report proposed introducing the new prices from January 1, 2023. It is estimated the move will raise an extra £40,000 between January and March next year, and a further £156,000 between April 2023 and March 2024.

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