The energy cost crisis is threatening leisure centres and swimming pools with the sports clubs who rely on them to stay open.
Clubs could be forced to close or increase their price as most leisure centres are set to reduce their operating hours and increase their price for using their facilities.
Some Lincoln sports clubs have taken measures into their own hands. Priory Badminton Club, based in Witham, has come up with solutions to combat energy prices.
Club Chairman Gary Jacobs said:
“From a cost point of view and the fact that everything is increasing in cost, it is important that we can play with full courts and full memberships as well.”
Whilst the club has full courts now, the fear of people dropping out due to the cost of living is in the back of everyone’s mind.
Club secretary James Howard spoke about how they have set up the club to ensure its longevity to get through the energy cost crisis.
” Previously, in the last 12 months, we have looked at the payment structure in the club to give us more financial stability.”
” The idea was a guaranteed income each month and room to grow each month. What that actually has done is give us a bit of insulation if the school raises their prices with regards to energy prices.”
A survey from Ukactive found that up to 79% of public leisure centres without support from the government are ‘likely’ or ‘extremely likely to shut down within six months.
Energy costs for public leisure centres, compared to 2021, will increase by 150% in 2022, and by 2023, this will increase by 185%.
The rise in energy prices will most impact swimming pools. In 2019 a report found that 1800 out of the 4000-plus pools the UK has would have to shut down since they will become too old and expensive to upgrade. The current energy price will only increase the speed at which this happens.
On average, leisure centres are now paying £2.50 for every £1 previously spent on energy, with costs only going up. Dark times lay ahead for local indoor sports clubs.