Opening times at Worcester’s leisure centres to be cut to save money

THE council is set to cut opening hours at its struggling leisure centres in a bid to save money on its energy bills.

Worcester City Council is planning to slash opening times at Nunnery Wood Sports Complex and St John’s Sports Centre as well as close Perdiswell Leisure Centre earlier as a way of cutting costs.

Prices at the three leisure centres are also set to rise by an average of almost nine per cent to boost funds.

Freedom Leisure has warned that its bills are set to soar by £585,000 and the council is set to hand it £315,000 to help protect the leisure centres across the next 12 months.

The city council’s communities committee will also discuss plans to set aside up to £550,000 to pay for energy-saving measures at a meeting on January 25.

READ MORE: Taxpayer bailout for Worcester leisure centres in energy crisis

Opening hours at Nunnery Wood Sports Centre and St John’s Sport Centre would be cut to 3pm to 10pm between Monday and Thursday, 3pm to 9pm on Fridays and 8am to 1pm on weekends.

Perdiswell Leisure Centre would close an hour earlier on weekdays from 6am to 9pm.

A review of the council’s contract with Freedom Leisure found that while demand for swimming lessons in Worcester has soared, health and fitness, which is where most of the money is made, has failed to recover and remains well below pre-pandemic levels.

The review suggested looking at reducing opening times at Perdiswell Leisure Centre and Nunnery Wood Sports Centre – and even closing St John’s Sports Centre completely – as a way of saving money.

READ MORE: Bosses fear Worcester’s leisure centres and swimming pools could close

However, council bosses decided against closing the centre and instead pushed reduced hours which would save around £40,000 a year.

In September…

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