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Sports club fees plan scrapped at council facilities in Edinburgh

school sport

Councillors have agreed to scrap plans for Edinburgh sports clubs to be charged £35 an hour to use council facilities out-of-hours.

In June, the city council agreed to “pause” rolling out the charges following a public outcry.

The proposals have now been formally abandoned after it was claimed some clubs would struggle to survive.

The decision has been welcomed by sports clubs.

School estate

Councillors on the education, children and families committee agree a motion, tabled by convener Ian Perry, for officers to come up with another strategy that will not see the charges passed onto sports clubs.

Mr Perry said: “I think a lot of clubs would struggle and I’m quite clear with my discussions with sports clubs that some of them would fold because it’s quite a hefty increase.

“The officials should talk to the clubs to see if there’s a more efficient way we can use the school estate.

“It’s a question of discussing it with the clubs and making sure they are comfortable with anything we do as opposed to try and impose something on them. Officials are optimistic that they will make some efficiencies.”

Colin McMillan, chairman of Club Sport Edinburgh, which represents 400 clubs across the capital, said: “Schools are valuable community resources and we need to keep them open and affordable.

“Sport clubs have a key role in addressing inequality in Edinburgh and this decision is a good starting point to look at new ways of working more closely to help address the challenges we face in Edinburgh.

“Clubs understand budget pressure faced by the council, but our vibrant voluntary sport clubs clearly deliver real social outcomes for Edinburgh. We hope this is the turning of the tide for sport clubs and recognition of their impact by Edinburgh Council.”

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