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“Our swimming lessons are competitively priced”

 
Created on 07/12/2019 @ 16:22
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The under-fire company which is running the Flash Leisure Centre has faced another wave of criticism after hiking the cost of its kids’ swimming lessons for the second year running.

From January, it will cost £23.60 a month for weekly 30-minute group sessions, a whopping 13% more than what parents were paying in December 2018, and an inflation busting 5% increase on this year alone. It now equates to almost £12 an hour. The current inflation rate for the UK is 1.9%.

Parents received the news via email on Thursday afternoon and responded with anger with many telling us that it may be a rise too far, particularly if two or three children from the same family are swimming.

“It is vital that all kids have the opportunity to swim, but according to Freedom Leisure only if you can afford it,” one told us. “I have two kids swimming so nearly £50 a month we are coughing up. I honestly don’t think we can afford it anymore. There’s not even a discount if you have more than one kid. They are really taking advantage of a lack of competition.”

It’s been a tough few weeks for The Flash managers, Freedom Leisure, who are already being heavily criticised for the artificial pitch fiasco and also a broken lift meaning the sports hall doors are left wide open for access, leaving kids shivering for classes. However, they have defended the rise by saying their swimming lessons are “competitively priced”.

In their note to parents announcing the increase, they said: “At Freedom Leisure we believe being able to swim is a fundamental life skill and everyone should have the opportunity to learn to swim enabling them to enjoy a multitude of aquatic activities and be safe in, and around water.”

Last night, a spokesperson reacted to the criticism by telling us: “All our prices, including swimming lessons, are benchmarked against others and are reasonable and competitively priced.

“They also allow us to pay our swimming teachers at a competitive rate of pay to ensure we recruit the most highly trained and talented teachers for our lessons.

“All fees and charges are issued to our partner Powys County Council for their consideration, and after discussion the 27.5p per lesson increase was agreed to ensure the development of the swim school programme and to help support more people to learn to swim.”

The rising cost of learning to swim at The Flash

2017: £20.90

2018: £22.50

2019: £23.60

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