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Cost of living crisis: Swimming pool at Rye Sports Centre closed due to soaring energy prices

On October 31, Freedom Leisure, the pools owners, will be closing the local Rye facility in the face of ongoing soaring energy costs. This is as consumers are facing ever-tightening budgets leading to a dramatic fall in disposable wages.

In a statement Freedom leisure said – “It’s been well-publicised in the media that households and businesses across the country are facing increased energy bills due to the wholesale price of electricity and gas increasing at an alarming rate…

To put this into context, at Freedom Leisure we have seen our annual energy bill move from £8m to £20m and this is despite the recent government announcement outlining the support available for businesses of a temporary cap.

As a not-for-profit charitable leisure trust, we make very low surpluses and these increases present us with a significant challenge where difficult decisions need to be made about expenditure just as those conversations are happening in homes across the UK. However, the magnitude of these decisions is more far reaching than ever before seen in our sector.

Freedom Lesure

Therefore, we are regrettably having to temporarily close the swimming pool at Rye Sports Centre from Tuesday 1 November (last session Monday 31 October) for the winter with a review in early spring next year when we will be in a better position to assess future government support and any fluctuations in the utility price market.

We are acutely aware that this decision will be devastating to many of our customers that rely on the pool to improve their health and wellbeing and if we felt there was any other action we could take to not close the pool we would however, the increased costs of maintaining the swimming pool at Rye amounts to £92,000 a year which we cannot just absorb.”

Further CEO Ivan Horsfall-Turner said – “We are very disappointed that this escalating situation has come to this. It goes against our ethos and our vision of improving lives through leisure but we feel that through circumstances out of our control we are having to make decisions such as the closure of the pool to protect the provision of the wider leisure service for the community for the future.”

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