I run four 5-a-side teams playing at the town’s Leisure Centre and I have been talking to the manager about the high price we pay to use the facilities.
A number of players say they cannot afford to play anymore and we have been forced to cancel a few of our bookings The Leisure Centre charge our group around £205 per week and are in danger of losing us because they won’t compete with other venues which are nearly half the price!
We have used Aycliffe for many years and have been very loyal despite the state of the changing rooms and toilets. I thought the Manager was listening to me and a review of prices was indicated. However at a later date she informed me directly that prices would remain high and it was my choice to use the facilities or not! I question the managerial skills of a person who speaks to customers in that way
It astounded me for a County Council run facility which is supposed to be encouraging healthy exercise and trying to increase attendance and use of our Leisure Centres.
I was amazed the Centre Manager cannot deal with simple arithmetic and is allowed to price the sports hall usage out of the market. I understand the swimming pool is also underused due to the disgusting state of the toilets and changing rooms.
The bar is empty or closed and the Sycamore Suite has few functions held there.
I would like to see some action from residents calling for an improvement to this sad looking place which apart from the Fitness Centre is getting emptier every week.
Our Leisure Centre is not a patch on the well run Spennymoor Centre where it is obvious a lot of money has been spent and the standard of maintenance is much higher.
Customer relations are very poor at Aycliffe and our suggestions to keep the Leisure Centre open are being completely disregarded.
REPLY FROM MANAGEMENT:
Lesley Tindale commented:
We are currently undertaking a review of our pricing structure. As part of this review we have looked at competitors and have taken their pricing structures into account.
We can’t give an exact timescale for the implementation of a review of the prices at the moment; however, we will take your comments into account as part of this review.
Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre has had significant investment since 2011 on maintenance to improve the conditions for our users and some of this work is still on-going. In addition to this many areas of the centre have been developed to allow Pathways Disability Day Care Centre to move into the building.
The centre still attracts over 400,000 users a year and although the product range and services have changed, it is reflective of customer use and need. The centre has a calendar of events and functions which varies from birthday parties, christenings and weddings to sporting events.
We always welcome the comments and suggestions from our customers but we must balance them with the need to run the centre in a commercially viable way to protect its future for everyone.