Rising prices for Meadway, Palmer Park and South Reading recreation centers
The cost of new Reading Leisure Center memberships has skyrocketed under new operator Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) over fears they provide ‘bad value’.
GLL, known publicly as Better, this month took over management of the four recreation centers owned by the Municipality of Reading.
Having previously operated the Rivermead Leisure Center, it now also operates the Meadway Leisure Center, South Reading Leisure Center and Palmer Park Sports Stadium.
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The new leisure centers and swimming pools at Palmer Park and Rivermead are being built by GLL and will also be under their management
Since the buyout, prices for new members have increased from £ 16-35 to between £ 28-60.
Green Advisor David McElroy said: “This is definitely bad value for money for those who are overpriced for these services.
“The price increase is a brake on use, where post-Covid we must make access to health and fitness a priority, not a luxury.
“Maybe they’ll be more value for money when the two new pools are built, assuming they don’t use that as an excuse to raise the prices further.”
Adviser Graeme Hoskin, a senior member of the Reading Borough Council (RBC) for health, wellness and sport, said the various membership packages “aim to be competitive with the Reading market as it is. currently, to attract customers and to be competitive “.
And a spokesperson for RBC said there would be no increase in membership prices once the new centers open, except for standard inflationary increases, and that any significant price changes would not take place. only after consultation.
How have the prices changed?
Previously, monthly subscriptions for Meadway, South Reading and Palmer Park were between £ 16 and £ 35 under the Reading Sport and Leisure (RSL) subscription, with access to all three locations.
Existing members will be able to keep these prices, which have also been frozen for three years, but for new members the cheapest subscription will be £ 28 and will only give access to one site.
Residents will have to pay £ 40 to access four sites, or £ 60 if they wish to access racquet sports such as squash and tennis. The £ 60 membership also grants access to Better Leisure Centers across the UK.
New membership fees
The council is investing more than £ 40million in leisure facilities in the city which it says will translate into “some of the best sports facilities in our region”.
This includes the opening of brand new modern swimming pools at Rivermead and Palmer Park by 2023 and “substantial upgrades” at Meadway and the South Reading Leisure Center, which will begin shortly.
READ MORE: Rivermead and Palmer Park swimming pool costs rise by over £ 2million
And it says GLL’s £ 40 multi-site membership is cheaper than its counterparts at Wokingham (£ 49) Maidenhead (£ 63.95), while neither offer single center memberships. .
Prices for current members will be set outside of inflation increases each year. Any other price changes should go to a committee of the board for approval.
The board says the prices for new members are more reflective of the industry standard, are tailored to offer people a choice based on their preferences, and include single center, off-peak, senior, junior and student memberships.
Construction of the all-new Rivermead Recreation Center and Palmer Park’s new swimming pool is scheduled to begin this summer with the goal of delivering the new facilities by spring 2023.
A spokesperson added, “The board is fully committed to increasing levels of participation in physical activity, which has never been more important.
“GLL’s operation of Reading’s four leisure centers on behalf of City Council is an important part of our commitment to provide new, modern leisure facilities and to improve health and well-being across Reading. ”