Edinburgh's leisure facilities facing funding cuts and new bills

Deven Pambenin Industry News

Golf clubs and sports facilities across Edinburgh face an uncertain future following proposals for council budget cuts and new from 2018.

Despite the City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh Leisure insisting a decision to cut services has not been made, the council needs to make savings of £150m by 2023 and is carrying out a public consultation into service provision for 2018/19.

It says £21m of the savings are necessary over the next financial year.

Edinburgh Leisure, which operates six golf courses and numerous sports pitches in Edinburgh, along with ten swimming pools, fifteen gyms and an indoor climbing centre, could see its £8m annual budget cut by £420,000 next year alone, according to a revenue budget document.

The golf courses likely to be affected are Braid Hills (pictured above), Carrick Knowe, Craigentinny, Portobello, Wee Braids and Silverknowes Golf Courses.

Left; Carrick Knowe, and right: Craigentinny

The 46-page report reveals the introduction of maintenance charges "for council-owned football pitches which are currently used and hired out by Edinburgh Leisure". The charges would cost the operator £375,000 a year.

In an open letter to customers encouraging them to take part in the consultation, Edinburgh Leisure chief executive June Peebles said: "There have been many assumptions made by the media about 'potential closures of swimming pools and sports centres' and the 'potential loss of grass pitches'. At this stage, this is speculative rather than being based on the fact.

"Discussions are ongoing with the council on the proposed financial reductions and the potential impact on Edinburgh Leisure services. Neither party wants a reduction to services."

The consultation process ends on 19 December.

You can read the original article from Sports Management HERE

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